Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

When it comes to yob violence, you don't have to look further than Jason Statham. As one of Guy Ritchie's mates, he first appeared in Lock, Stock and later advanced into early Sly territory with The Transporter movies, looking gymmed up and mean as hell. This time, in Crank, he's put on a pound or two and looks chunky, which for a small bloke is reminiscent of Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday. What he's good at is anger and, as Chev Chelios, professional assassin, he's angry all the time.

How do you make a movie about man who is permanently pissed off? He must slow down occasionally; he must go to the lavatory. He only stops when talking to his girlfriend (Amy Smart), who doesn't know he's a hitman and is a bit dim. Also, he doesn't go to the lavatory. This is an action picture.

Copy picture

The bad guy (Jose Pablo Cantillo), a shaven-headed Cuban (possibly), has injected Chev with a Chinese poison that takes 24 hours to stop the heart. There is no explanation as to why he has done such a thing, or why he lets his victim know. As a result, Chev rushes about like a Millwall fan on a Saturday night after the team went down five nothing. He's out to get the Cuban before his ticker tocks.

The plot is pure pants. What keeps the film from imploding is its humour, intentional or not. Every now and again, the camera goes inside Chev, CSI-style, and you see his pumping heart. Is this to remind the audience that he's living on borrowed time, or to make everyone sick?

Somehow Chev has to keep going. The more he runs, the faster the blood pumps. When he thinks about resting, he teeters on the edge of coma. He drives like a maniac, even has a blowjob during a car chase. He steals a cop's motorbike and burns rubber for miles before crashing it. He crashes everything. And kills everyone. Almost.

Will he reach the Cuban, who's gay by the way - nice homophobic touch - before he dies in agony? Silly question. This isn't a serious movie. It's a load of rubbish, with far too much violence that makes no kind of sense.

What can you say about Statham, a nice East End lad in Hollywood? He kicks ass. Pretty good.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
Share this with others on...
Crank packshot
A poisoned man must keep his heart rate high to stay alive as he hunts his killer.
Amazon link

Read more Crank reviews:

Sam Moore ***1/2

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Writer: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Dwight Yoakam, Carlos Sanz

Year: 2006

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


Search database: