Thursday, September 28, 2006


By Reymundo Salao

Chev Chelios (played by Jason Statham) is a hitman who freelances for a major West-Coast syndicate, but lately, has plans to quit his job. One day, he wakes up to find that he has been injected by a Chinese poison that will kill him within an hour. Chelios has discovered that when he panics and runs amuck, he actually lengthens his life and keeps his heart from slowing down to death. With the help of a friend of his, who is a doctor, he discovers that in order to survive, he must put himself in a constant state of adrenaline. On his way to find a cure or to find the ones who did this to him, he freaks out, wreaks havoc and nasty damage to anyone who dares to stand in his way.

First of all, I'd like to clarify that CRANK is NOT a sequel of “The Transporter” series. The morons who released this (possibly not just here in the Philippines) just tweaked the posters that they distributed so as to use "The Transporter" movie as a vehicle to market this film. But right here from the top, I'd say that CRANK is very far high up better than "The Transporter"

CRANK has a very unique plot that requires its protagonist (anti-hero) to just go nuts in a way that makes Lethal Weapon's Martin Riggs look like well-behaved nun. Statham's character is very amusing in a dark-violent and comical kind of way, as he crosses the lines of action heroism to produce this very irreverent diehard hero. The film is the feature-film debut of screenwriters and directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who obviously has made one heck of an adrenaline-rush movie for a first big project. These guys definitely have a greater future ahead of them.

The film is relentless, reckless, and fast-paced. Oftentimes, you miss the details of the subplots, but then again, the highlight of this movie is its innovative theme, that of a race against death. You miss out understanding why his enemies want him dead, you miss out who's betraying who and why; because you’re just there to find out if Chev will survive the poison that's killing him.

Of course, you can’t compare CRANK to serious action flicks such as "Man on Fire" or "Ronin". CRANK has more of a "violent video game" feel, in a very Guy Ritchie format (Guy Ritchie is known for his 2 big slick gangster flicks "Snatch" & "Lock Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels"). There are action sequences in this movie that may defy reason, but nonetheless, fun and fits the mood of the film. Aside from the action scenes, the overall visuals of the movie are outstanding. It has very innovative stylized cinematographic shots that seem more close to artsy than commercial action flick. This movie utilizes all the visual tweaks and effects enough to highlight that acidly toxic, sometimes cartoonish atmosphere of the film's storyline.

Having played slick roles in movies such as "Snatch", "Mean Machine", and of course, who could miss him as the hero of "Transporter? ...Jason Statham is fast becoming an actor that is marked for mean action movies. He has found himself in a position where he's now identified with being a cool underworld character. And indeed, Statham's skills isn’t bullcrap that high-brow critics can just underestimate. Statham's got skills that make him fit naturally in his roles. The film also stars Efren Ramirez, who is best known to play Pedro in the phenomenal (although not released locally) "Napoleon Dynamite" and former country singer Dwight Yoakam (who was last seen as a creepy villain in "Bandidas". And of course, also in the movie is the very lovely Amy Smart, with special participation of her melons.

PARENTAL ADVISORY...mild-mannered folks might think of CRANK to be a horrifying movie of anarchic chaos, having a really strong sense of violence and hard-edged action. But the violence here is done in a semi-slapstick-action kind of way that, generally, only hot-blooded guys could appreciate. There are no tender moments of love and mush; but there is a doggy-style scene that is as morally offensive as it is cheer-worthy. With that said, I don’t have to remind you irresponsible parents to NOT bring your underage children in such an adult-oriented film such as this. I mean, there are nipples, buttcheeks, and even BJ sequences in this flick. You'd be moral morons to bring a child to such a deliciously vicious and vivacious movie. So if you Nays and Tays are out with your kids for a movie, go watch "Zoom" instead.

CRANK is the ultimate GUY Flick. A macho, sick bonanza of gunshots, mean fights and horny chicks, a world of crazy crazy action, I love it. CRANK is not for serious viewing, neither is it much of a date movie, not unless you want your GF to complain about the movie as much as you would complain about letting her drag you to watch that awful Sam Milby movie. CRANK is the kind of movie that you would definitely enjoy with your buddies, maybe if you could slip in beers and peanuts inside the theater, it would make a perfect cinematic combination.

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