Last night my spouse and I sat down to watch some TV before bed and stumbled across Crank in our “ShowTime On Demand” listings. Although one of my daughters had warned against the film, saying, “It’s worse than Transporter 2,” (and I pretty much hated Transporter 2), we gave it a try.
Wow! Am I glad we did. Jason Statham excellently carries the role of a poisoned hit man with only an hour to live, and the supporting cast is equally engaging. (Amy Smart as his charmingly clueless girlfriend, Dwight Yoakam as the doctor he’s having to phone for emergency advice, and the various actors who play baddies he faces.) Even more importantly, the directors (Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine) pay loving attention to the tale: This isn’t just an adrenaline rush of a film (although it is that); it’s an Alice Through the Looking Glass thrill ride from beginning to end. I particularly enjoyed the choice of music for different parts of the film, the way the events and songs play counterpoint to one another.
One frustration I often have with action films is how frequently they not merely stretch but blatantly ignore the laws of physics. (The heroes of Die Hard 2 surviving that ship explosion—a blast that clouded the very air with its force and would have jellied their bones—for instance; and don’t get me started on the Mission Impossible franchise.) Crank manages to keep the viewer gasping for breath without much violating his or her sense of reality.
Obviously, I loved the film. This is one case where my daughter was wrong, or at least not of a frame of mind to appreciate the movie for what it is, for what it sets out to be. Crank is more than just an action flick, and it deserves at least a cult following. I can’t wait to watch it again.