Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Crank (2006): A High-Octane Masterclass in Ridiculous Cinema

By Michael Mar 25, 2024

“Crank” is a 2006 American action film starring Jason Statham as professional assassin Chev Chelios. In the movie, Chelios discovers that his rival injected him with a deadly poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. To stay alive, he must keep his adrenaline pumping by engaging in various high-energy activities to find an antidote before time runs out. The film explores the over-the-top nature of action movies, filled with constant excitement, violence, and motion as demanded by Hollywood’s action genre.

Review By Ben Dover:

In a world where logic and sanity are thrown out the window, Crank reigns supreme as a monument to cinematic absurdity. This 2006 adrenaline-fueled fever dream follows hitman Chev Chelios on a quest to quite literally keep his heart pumping by any insane means necessary after being poisoned with a rare “Beijing cocktail.”

What ensues is 88 glorious minutes of Chelios subjecting himself and audiences to escalating levels of mayhem that make you question reality itself. Need a defibrillator jolt? He’ll yank one out of a man’s chest mid-ambulance ride. Looking to supercharge his heart rate? A generous dose of adrenaline and narcotics straight to the heart will do the trick! All in a day’s work for a dude just trying not to die. it’s completely ridiculous to the point of absurdity which is what makes it great.

The absurdity is amplified by the fact that Crank’s principals – star Jason Statham, writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor – play it completely straight amidst the unrestrained, almost avant-garde insanity. Somehow this bonkers concoction about a man forced into a perpetual state of essence-induced mania connected with audiences.

Against all odds, Crank managed to be a surprise hit, raking in over $27 million at the box office on a meager $12 million budget. Let that sink in – a film about a poisoned hit man plunging into a whirlwind of destruction involving public sex acts (kind of rapey actually), comically grotesque violence, and industrial object revivals struck a chord with the modern moviegoing public. In what plane of existence does this make sense?

And yet, Crank’s commercial success paved the way for an equally ludicrous 2009 sequel that took Chelios’ maniacal mission to even more illogical heights involving battery-charged artificial hearts and underground racers. It’s a true testament to strangers allowing their wildest, most logic-defying fantasies to unspool gloriously on the big screen.

So hail Crank, the ultimate celebration of mind-numbing, coherence-abandoning cinema receiving the audience adulation it rightfully deserved. Just leave your sanity at the door and embrace the beautiful mayhem.

Critics Consensus

Rotten Tomatoes 62%: Crank‘s assaultive style and gleeful depravity may turn off casual action fans, but audiences seeking a strong dose of adrenaline will be thrilled by Jason Statham’s raucous race against mortality. Read critic reviews


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By Michael

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