Wednesday, May 9, 2007


One of the biggest surprises of the DVDs I’ve watched recently, was Lionsgate’s high-octane action flick, CRANK (2006).

Now, I enjoy Jason Statham’s TRANSPORTER flicks, for all their faults, because the guy is pretty much the only screen action hero tough-guy right now that I actually believe is tough. For all I know, he may be a big ol’ pansy in real life, knitting doilies and playing with kittens, but in his movies, I genuinely buy him as a badass. There aren’t many guys like that around anymore. Most of today’s leading actors just don’t possess whatever it is that makes for a convincing hardcase. Eastwood, Bronson, Marvin… those guys had it… and Statham does, too.

In CRANK, Statham plays hitman Chev Chelios, who wakes up one morning to discover he’s been injected with a fatal drug that will kill him in an hour. Not one to waste time, Chev heads out to find the guy who poisoned him – and say goodbye to his girl (Amy Smart, STRANGELAND). He soon discovers that keeping his adrenaline levels maxed out slows the progress of the poison, and he starts doing everything he can to stay cranked up long enough to get his revenge.

It’s basically a video-game – an ultraviolent, hard-R cartoon that I can best describe as D.O.A. meets RUN, LOLA, RUN meets a Chuck Jones or Friz Freleng Road Runner short. It’s got tons of gratuitous violence and sex, and it’s utterly without redeeming value… except that it’s also funny as hell – intentionally so – and it was the humor more than anything else that won me over.

And the funniest thing is that the DVD comes with a "family friendly" audio option that removes all the swear words. A feature which – considering all the film’s gory violence, constant drug use, explicit public sex, on-screen blowjobs and scenes of Statham running around the city in a hospital gown, bareassed and sporting wood – just cracks me up.

The Lionsgate disc presents the movie in a gorgeous, razor-sharp 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround Sound. It looks and sounds great. Aside from the "Family friendly" audio option, the disc also offers a "Cranked Out Mode," that basically allows you to view behind-the-scenes material while the movie runs.

For action fans who don’t require a lot of reality in their flicks, CRANK is highly recommended.

BUY: Crank (Widescreen Edition)