blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Crank (2006, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor)

Jason Statham stars in CRANK, directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor for Lionsgate.

I don’t usually see films released by Lionsgate. I wouldn’t say I boycotted them, but I don’t take them seriously enough to bother. I started watching Crank because the trailer looked amusing and I do like Jason Statham, whose career goal is apparently never to be in a film funded by a major film company. Statham’s a reasonable enough actor and he’s a good action star. Except Crank is actually the worst made film I can remember seeing. It beats everything in terms of incompetence. But I guess it really isn’t incompetence, because if the filmmakers intended to make a video game into a movie (something David Fincher once said he was trying to do, I think about Fight Club), they’ve sort of succeeded. It’s just an incomprehensible video game.

Crank opens with the title in old video game–arcade days–font, then moves into Statham’s point of view for a few minutes while it establishes its story. This film uses Google Maps (with the Google Maps tag onscreen) as a story-telling device. It has multiple frames on screen at once, but then attaches these frames as textures to walls in other frames. It’s incoherent and stupid. Every third word is a expletive, not for any good reason, but because the writing is so laughable.

Also, it’s not exciting. Jason Statham drives around a lot and yells at people on his cell phone (which gets really good reception). I know the guy’s inevitably going to die–it’s part of the agreement for watching the film–but if you want him to die, well, it doesn’t quite work… shock of shocks.

Unfortunately, Crank didn’t totally tank at the box office and it’s doing well on video (which signals the end days more than a nuclear holocaust would), so it’s possible the morons who made it will make some more films. But they’ve really achieved something with Crank–it’s probably the most worthless action movie I can think of.



Written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor; director of photography, Adam Biddle; edited by Brian Berdan; music by Paul Haslinger; production designer, Jerry Fleming; produced by Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard S. Wright, Skip Williamson and Michael Davis; released by Lionsgate.

Starring Jason Statham (Chev Chelios), Amy Smart (Eve), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Verona), Efren Ramirez (Kaylo), Dwight Yoakam (Doc Miles), Carlos Sanz (Carlito), Jay Xcala (Alex) and Keone Young (Don Kim).


One response to “Crank (2006, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor)”

  1. Jim C.

    I finally got around to seeing this last night.

    I can’t say I disagree with much of anything you say about the movie, though I think I had a lot more fun watching it than you did.

    In special features, there’s a choice called “Family Friendly Soundtrack” which edits all the coarse language out. The producers/directors come on beforehand (if you select this option) to explain that this is the TV-friendly soundtrack. As you’ve seen the film, your realize the absolute absurdity of this choice, what with the nudity, sexual situations and well, the certain word that appears on his forehead (the ‘safe’ soundtrack says, “Plum.” I kid you not.)

    I can’t say this soundtrack makes the film any better, but it certainly makes it much weirder.

    Perhaps it also helps that we were playing “Mystery Science Theater 3000” with the film, so when a friend notes the randomness of the soundtrack and asks, “shall we take bets on the next song they’ll play? Tiny Bubbles? Inagaddadavida? Rite of Spring?” you can’t help but laugh. And just why did Dwight Yoakam decide to dress and act just like Jeri Blank?

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