Saturday, 1 December 2007

DVD: Crank

Lowdown: Grand Theft Auto - the film version.
Jason Statham's specialty seems to be silly action films that are fun to watch. First we've had The Transporter and its sequel, and now we have Crank.
As Crank starts, Statham wakes up to find that he has been poisoned by this not so nice guy with a poison that supposed to make him drowsy and kill him slowly. A professional killer, Statham doesn't give up - he goes after the guy that poisoned him. Quickly enough he discovers that he can keep himself awake and hopefully extend his very limited lifespan by making sure adrenaline is pumping through his blood.
With that key observation in mind, Jason goes on a rampage throughout Los Angeles. He chases and get chased by cops, drives through shopping malls, meets with fellow criminals and people of all sorts of ethnicities, and encounters chicks left and right. And with all of his action adventures, the one thing that is very obvious is Jason's (and for that matter, everyone else's) total lack of respect to others. In Crank, people are there to be used - usually by getting stolen from, abused, injured, or shot.
The octane factor on the action is high and it's all quite fun. Quickly enough you realize that the film follows the exact script you would get if you were to play Grand Theft Auto: it all feels like one of those missions you get there and the action is carbon copy stuff to the game. The question then becomes this: Is Crank a film that supports the values embedded in the video game or is it trying to criticize the culture behind the game? That's a hard one to answer. I suspect the answer is that there wasn't much of a superior motive to this film, which is after all a very silly film. Silly, but at the hands of the general [ignorant] public this could be a dehumanization tool.
Best scenes: There are several extreme scenes in Crank that are worth mentioning. In ascending order of "coolness" (inverted commas apply here), we have:
1. In order to steal a cab from a foreigner looking cabbie, Statham shouts "Al Qaeda" and immediately a group of grandfathers/grandmothers crashes the hell of the cabbie and allows Statham to get away with the stolen cab.
2. Statham has full on sex with his girlfriend in the middle of a very crowded Chinatown. Everything to keep the adrenaline pumping! Just like Paris Hilton, though, he has to stop in order to answer his mobile phone.
3. Statham receives a blow job from his girlfriend while being involved in a very passionate car chase that would have been memorable enough without the extra curricular piece of action. I guess this scene is supposed to serve as your ultimate male fantasy.
Picture quality: Colors are fairly inconsistent.
Sound quality: Aggressive if inarticulate sound. Oddly enough, as aggressive as it is, the surrounds are not involved half as much as they should.
Overall: It's fun, but it requires the viewer to leave all morality behind. Or, like me, allow yourself to think this is all just cynical criticism and enjoy the ride. 3 out of 5 stars.

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