Crank Up the Christmas Decor!

Crank XmasTomorrow is the start, my friends. The lead-up to family cheer and the season of giving. And I couldn’t be more excited.

However, I do have that book to read… and that coursework that needs editing… what about that interview I need to prepare for, and don’t forget the Christmas homework – the present buying – the constant drone of “White Christmas” from my brother’s room – the abundance of marzipan – dressing up like you are the Christmas tree.

Okay, Christmas can stay away for a while for all that I care. Oh bah humbug to you too!

Speaking of Scrooges, hope no-one is feeling too… cranky… this year? (Oh so punny). Anyway, I chose this film on the basis that it was the shortest film on my planner that I actually wanted to watch (I believe it’s a 88 minute run-time). It wouldn’t be something I would usually pick and review, as I don’t want to offend people with the countless drug references and sexual references, being more than just referenced, but after thinking about it, this might actually turn out to be a good choice…Crank follows the day of British hitman Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) who is injected with a powerful poison for killing the mafia boss of the Triads Don Kim (Keone Young). The only way Chev can slow down the poison is to keep his adrenaline as high as possible until he can exact revenge or in the futile circumstance there is an antidote.

I would say that this film is primarily an action flick (I mean, if you didn’t notice, it’s Jason Statham). From the get-go, you are put into a world of car chases and fights, heightened by the fact that Chev has to depend on these things to survive. If you’re not into action movies, this is a definite skip. Also if you are a sensitive person. Drugs are as common as the bristly stubbles that Statham must shed per day. And that, my friends, must be innumerable.

The plot was fairly interesting in the ways that Chev had to keep his adrenaline up. Police chases through shopping malls, pumping your blood with enough artificial adrenaline to kill an elephant, and the classic defibrillator to the chest. It’s an interesting gimmick, but I find it odd that there is a sequel. How will they make it fresh? I will have to get back to you on that.

This film surprisingly gave me a bit of a nostalgic feel, recalling my viewing of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. While Scott Pilgrim was a lot more definite with its video-game references and visually stunning, yet thoughtful cinematography, Crank makes the video-game style clear, it doesn’t veer off course to what the action-junkies want. Think of Crank as the Scott Pilgrim that doesn’t feature a load of Minnenials acting.

In regards to cinematography, I quite liked the different styles that the film used. I’m no expert on this. I can’t tell you “Oh yes, that was an excellent use of an arc shot. And that general wash of antique ruby was sublime!” but I can say that the film… looked… nice? I mean, it was appealing to see the blurriness of vision and different uses of exposure and colour being used in scenes. This isn’t something that was filmed to be surreal. I would expect the raw footage to look fairly apt, but it’s the filters used to create the adrenalin rush that Chev has to go through. You feel like you’re going through your very own adrenalin/acid/video-game rampage. A very weird experience, but entertaining nonetheless.

Acting? Well, it’s Jason Statham. His acting I regard mostly through the use of stunts. He’s got the same role of the anti-hero with a husky British accent, but that’s what we love about him! His stunts were cool in the movie. He does his own stunts, so seeing him fight on the outside of a helicopter and stand up on a moving motorcycle in a hospital gown was pretty cool.

Other performances worth mentioning were Amy Smart, who played Chev’s oblivious girlfriend. It would have been a good character, but I find that the writers made her try to tick too many boxes. She’s annoying, yet caring; a “girly” girl, yet unflinching when bullets fly; a crucial plot device, yet a little too void from screen.

The antagonists were decent as well. Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), the administer of the poison, is a guy who wants to get to the top of the food-chain, yet is impatient and easily agitated by Chev’s relentlessness. He kind of reminded me of Krazy-8 in Breaking Bad. Chev’s boss, Carlito (Carlos Sanz) is the typical big-fish. He is ruthless in business, sacrificing his subordinates like toy soldiers and likes to tie up loose ends.

In the end, Crank is a very interesting action flick. It is the action that has just enough twists and features to keep you entertained to the end. While it’s nothing to go crazy over, it’s a film you can watch and escape reality for eighty-eight minutes through a euphoric high of zany camera tricks and blood.