From the first frame to the last this film keeps moving and moving.
Some of this movie was a little hard to take. Menu options hard to decipher.
Call it Speed with a heart.
Crank literally follows Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) as a hitman who is trying to walk the straight and narrow with the love of his life Eve (Amy Smart). Chev didn't finish his last job so now the people who used to pay him to kill, are trying to end his life in the most interesting way possible. They have injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart pumps under a certain rate. So the game is on for Chev to try and find and antidote, while also following his ex-employer who plans to kill Eve.
This film is a thrill ride that at times borders on the off the wall. Filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have pooled their resources to create a film that never lets up. Sure, it finds a way to give audiences the equivalent of a cinematic breather, but just when you think Chev can relax even a little bit, something happens that totally changes that assumption. This movie moves so quickly and it depends on it's audience to be able to keep up. Years from now, I am willing to bet that this movie is taken a lot more seriously (as a piece of cinema) than maybe it was the first time around.
Crank'd Out Mode! and Family-Friendly Audio
I put these two together for this review simply because I don't know that they are Special Features, so much as they contribute to the look and sound of the film. Then I realized that they were extra options that altered the experience of seeing Crank, and so I put them where I felt they belonged. The Crank'd Out Mode allows you view the film at the same that you experience such things a behind the scenes footage, making of featurettes, and commentary tracks. There are other things you can do with this, and while I liked this option, it sort of jumbled everything together in a confusing manner. Also, should you have little ones running around, you can watch this movie with Family-Friendly Audio. This essentially allows you view the film and not worry about all the foul language that is being said. In all honesty, I can understand this, but this movie's audience really doesn't care about the language, I don't think.
Shooting Crank and The Stunts of Crank
Again, I have put these sections together for the purposes of this review because they probably could gave been cut together anyway. As a film, Crank is all about the action that it's putting on screen. Yeah, they have people talking about the writing, the actors, and the directors in both of these featurettes, but even at their core, these pieces look at this movie in terms of the visceral, nonstop action movie that it is. We are shown the stunts, they are then broken down so we can see how our actors were never in any danger, but still these things are highly death defying. What I am amazed about is that there weren't more injuries on the set, and the filmmakers weren't injured considering the kinds of things they did when shooting this movie. These two featurettes are definitely worth a look but Crank the movie stands just fine on it's own.
1080p High Definition Transfer - 16x9 Widescreen. Crank is the kind of full throttle, visual experience that in many ways seems like it is made for Blu-ray. It's fusillade of images combined with quick cuts, interesting camera angles and unique ways of obtaining footage make the viewing experience nothing if not interesting. There is so much going on at all times. A lot of quick cutting, a lot of action, and just when you get set things change for both the main actor and the movie. This Blu-ray release appears to accommodate all this, while also keeping the colors and the picture extremely sharp. In fact, the look of this movie is so visually correct one can easily see the sweat on Jason Statham's brow.
PCM Audio Uncompressed - 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX Audio - English and Spanish subtitles. As I mentioned above, this movie is always moving. The music seems to follow the images and on my sound system I had to actually turn things down a few times. There was somewhat of disparity when the characters were talking vs. when an action scenes were happening and the music was pounding through each given scene. I didn't have a lot of time to really mess around with all the system specs for the audio, but Crank really delivers for your system.
Jason Statham is shown on this front cover with his arm outstretched and his gun at the end of it. Behind him it seems like the city is exploding into a world of multidimensional colors. The back portion of this release keeps up this motif with more explosive shots from the film, a succinct description of what it's about, a Special Features listing and technical specs.
I first heard about this movie at Comic-Con and when it came out in theaters, I honestly thought that it would do better than the $30 million it made worldwide. People shelled out almost that much in one weekend to see Jason Statham in Transporter 2, but I guess that movie left a little to be desired so audiences were weary when it came to this one? Whatever the case, I am sure that audiences getting this on Blu-ray DVD are going to love it. As a Blu-ray disc it plays really well, and with all the modes one gets to watch this film in within the disc (accessing commentaries, featurettes, etc.), I am sure that they will get the moviewatching experience that the filmmakers had intended, even if it left me wanting at times.
I really applaud the people involved for making such a straight up action film. Crank may be laughable in terms of all the outrageous action that is packed into this 87 minute experience. There is just simply no way that if Chev was injected with this deadly serum, that he would be able to stay alive, keep his heart rate up, save Eve, and do everything else he does. In fact, I think that the sheer stress of the whole ordeal might even kill him before the poison. This however is if we're talking about real life...
This movie is a lot of fun and I am sure that that is why Blu-ray enthusiasts will pick up Crank in the first place.
Crank was released August 31, 2006.