This is a new feature and much like My Favourite Episodes it will focus on something I like, namely films that are stupid but that I love all the same. It will probably appear once in a blue moon just like My Favourite Episodes. I am nothing if not unpredictable.
The first movie up is from the Jason Statham brand – Crank.
Crank is very, very, stupid and silly. Do not begin watching this movie expecting a work of art, a discussion of the human spirit, or a story of the triumph of the human soul. Expect violence, bad language, car chases, gun play and Amy Smart in a summer dress. It’s best to regard this film as a live action version of Grand Theft Auto with better dialogue.
Jason Statham is the improbably named Chev Chelios, he is a cockney assassin living in Los Angeles (this is never explained but I guess it’s because Jason Statham’s American accent is awful and his natural cockney accent is funny when heard in conjunction with American antagonists). Chev has made enemies amongst the Latino gangs and they have poisoned him with some “Chinese shit,” a toxin which will eventually slow his heart down to a complete stop and kill him. Chev discovers that if he keeps his adrenaline pumping his heart won’t stop and he won’t die, so he embarks on a heart pumping rampage across the city – will he find a cure, gain revenge on his enemies, and finally confess to his girlfriend that he’s not really a computer game programmer?
Now you’ve just read the synopsis and you’re probably thinking to yourself, “that sounds like absolute crap” and that’s exactly what I thought before I watched Crank. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Crank has a wicked sense of humour running throughout the movie and a tongue so far in cheek that it’s burst through the skin and is waggling around manically. The film starts with the movie title rendered in lurid 8 bit graphics, giving a large hint at what is to come – fun, violent, fun.
It’s clear that everyone is having a great time in this film, Statham maintains a manic cockney menace throughout, Amy Smart is a ditzy stoner chick oblivious to events around her, and every bit part player is a memorable character from the Haitian cab driver that constantly talks about drugs made from “plant shit” while berating Chev and calling him a crackhead, to the male nurse forced at gunpoint to shock Chev with a defibrillator paddle.
The story itself isn't particularly complex as it's standard revenge fare. What is interesting is Chev's rampage throughout L.A and his effect on everyone he meets. At one point Chev even takes a break from the plot to ride a stolen police motorbike through the streets while he comes down from a massive adrenalie shot that he took earlier. To use the old saying, it's not the destination - it's the journey.
Crank is great entertainment. I'm not advocating it as the greatest film ever made, heck, it's not even the greatest action movie ever made but it is one of the most enjoyable. Next time you're feeling a little down, give Crank a watch and it'll cheer you right up.
Here's the trailer but be warned that for some reason they decided to remove almost all traces of humour from it. Fortunately they rectified this mistake for Crank 2...