The set-up is brutally simple: hitman Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) has been injected with a lethal dose of poison, requiring increasingly large doses of adrenaline to stay alive. How does his body generate the required adrenaline? By any means necessary!
The films of writer-director duo Neveldine/Taylor are an acquired taste, as indeed are those of their bullet-headed leading man of choice, former Guy Ritchie muse Statham. Kinetic isn’t the half of it, considering the duo often serves as their own cameramen, shooting sequences on rollerblades, moulding Crank into the demented masterwork that it truly is. While action movies of late have embraced the faux-documentary realism popularised by the Bourne movies, Crank does something far more interesting, fusing the myopic intensity of video gaming with a crazed, larger-than-life pop-cultural hyper-sensibility, resulting in one seriously wild ride. And then there’s The Stath, a cockney Charles Bronson, whose filmography, as one critic recently noted, is possibly best viewed as one extended movie. Geezer! (Notes by Derek O’Connor.)
Showing as part of a Bang for your Buck: Action Movies 101 season throughout May.