I went to see this with Irony Boy on Monday night, having gotten quite excited by the trailer. I have to say it didn’t disappoint. I’ve been quite keen on Jason Statham since his turn as The Broadhurst Monk in Vinnie Jones’ Mean Machine, and also The Transporter’s pedals-in-an-oil-slick fight scene. (If you haven’t seen The Transporter then that will mean nothing to you. Your loss!) He was also great value in the Jet Li vehicle, The One.
Crank definitely lives up to its hype. The basic plot is that Statham is a hit man, Chev Chelios, who gets injected with a poison that will kill him if his adrenaline level drops. So, it’s basically Speed with a bloke instead of a bus. There’s lots of mindless violence, gratuitous sex and unnecessary profanity. I really enjoyed it, although the public sex scene with an enthusiastic Chinese audience was a bit OTT, especially as his girlfriend (played by Amy Smart) is initially reluctant, but then gets turned on by the attention. I have to admit that’s the only bit of the film I baulked at, because ‘no means no’ and a scripted reverse from refusal to compliance will surely send the wrong message out to the majority-male audience.
But, dubious sexual conduct aside, Crank was also very funny. Statham’s schizophrenic switch from outraged frustration at getting his chick’s answerphone, through to calmly leaving a message, followed by an outburst of f-words after hanging up is brilliant. There are plenty more moments like this scattered throughout the film, like when he disposes of a gun-toting would-be assassin while his oblivious ditzy girlfriend picks up the dropped contents of her handbag.
Another destined-to-be-classic line is when he’s in a pharmacy trying to remember the name of the drug that will save him…
Chev: I need something beginning with E…
Counter girl: England?
The look on his face at this smart-ass comment is priceless.
Overall, then I’d give this the two thumbs up if you like tough comedy, don’t mind swearing and (frequently bloody) fight scenes.