Crank is a non-stop, high-octane intense action film, with a bit of witty humor thrown in. Try and imagine The Transporter mixed with something along the lines of Running Scared. Yah, weird...but that's Crank in a nutshell. Writers and directors Neveldine and Taylor put together a movie that is so extreme it actually feels as if you are playing a video game. It doesn't ever stop or give you time to even think of where it is heading.
Jason Statham plays a hit man (Chev Chelios) in Los Angeles who has been injected with a Chinese poison, giving him only one hour until imminent death. In order to stay alive for as long as possible he must keep his adrenaline up. Filled with rage and a desire for revenge Chev hits the streets of LA in search of the man who poisoned him. Calling up his doctor friend (Dwight Yoakam) he finds out that he has 3 means of staying alive: Sex, Drugs, and Violence. While trying to juggle all of this, he is also trying to find a way to tell his girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart) that he has been poisoned, and that he is a professional hit man. Eve is a little over the top with her character. She is supposed to be everything that Chev is not, but she comes across as lazy and ditzy. Instead of someone that completes him she makes you question why he is with her. She ends up not helping the flow of the movie as much as I was hoping.
As you can tell, the storyline is fairly simple, but the movie is definitely not hurt by its simplicity. Crank really excels in its filmmaking techniques. Neveldine and Taylor really bust out all of the stops on this one. The entire movie is filmed to make you feel that you are actually part of the movie instead of just an audience member. Something that really jumped out at me were the unique transitions. When Chev calls up his girlfriend or gets in a fight, we will see not only his story but also everyone else's story at the same time and in multiple frames on the screen.
Quite possibly one of the best transfers that I have seen to date on Blu-ray. I know that may sound like a bold statement but the movie looks great. There is a scene where Chev jumps into a pool and you can literally see every drop of water. There are many scenes that are simply jaw dropping. What really helps Crank is that it takes place mainly outdoors during the day. Whenever you see a car pass by or someone on the street, the brilliant colors jump out at you. One neat aspect that comes into play is the use of Google Maps; there are several times when you see the how Google Maps helps progress the story and fills you in on where Chev is traveling next.
The only thing that does hurt Crank a little is post-processing. Crank is extremely high in contrast and although it looks amazing most of the time, sometimes it is a little overdone and you can see distortion in the picture.
Wow, truly impressive. We get 6.1 Uncompressed Audio and a really nice 5.1 Dolby Digital EX track. I had such a blast listening to some of the car chase scenes feeling as though I was in the drivers seat. The highs aren't whiney, the lows are good and strong and you can always hear dialog over the action. Also, the soundtrack really progresses the movie well. Crank has so much action throughout we get a strong soundtrack that continues to keep us on the edge of our seat.
Crank'D out Movie Mode (Writer/Director commentary, Behind the Scenes, and a nice little extra when you hear a phone ring you can click on it and get extra footage throughout the movie. The commentary is very well done, not too much but enough to keep you entertained throughout the length of the movie)
Crank: The Family Friendly Version (Keep the kids from hearing those swear words)
Pushing Crank (Marking tricks on how they pushed Crank and advertised on a small budget)
The Stunts of Crank (Just as it sounds, stunts of Crank, some neat tricks they tried and very in-depth look at Jason Statham doing a lot of his own stunts)
Shooting Crank (How they overcame and why they decided to shoot in HD, also the techniques behind how they shot Crank. I really enjoyed seeing the them rollerblade while hanging onto their HD cameras!)
Crank @ Comic-Con (Actual footage from Comic-Con introducing the film)
More Stories From Crank (Interview from Cast and Crew about the film. Also some very neat back stories on their expectations)
I was very pleasantly surprised with the extras on this one. So often with new formats we don't get a lot of extras. Crank does a good job giving us some extras. We don't get deleted scenes or alternate endings, but we do get some nice commentary and some really nice looks from behind the scenes.
Is Crank the best action movie of the year? No, but it is well worth a look. It is a fast-paced hardcore action movie that will knock your socks off. There are so many things that it does well that it keeps you wanting more. If you walk into Crank expecting more than a mind-numbingly fun, action flick, then you will probably be disappointed. But if you want something that you can show off as demo material then you will be extremely happy with this one. For the intensity of Crank and because of its demo ability, I highly recommend this one.