[Screen It]

"CRANK"
(2006) (Jason Statham, Amy Smart) (R)

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QUICK TAKE:
Action: A hitman must constantly maintain high levels of adrenaline in his system in order to keep the poison his rival injected into him from killing him.
PLOT:
Chev Chelios (JASON STATHAM) is a freelance hitman for a West Coast crime syndicate who wakes up with a major problem. Not only is he trying to give up the profession so that he can be with his oblivious girlfriend, Eve (AMY SMART), but his recent work concerning an Asian crime lord, Don Kim (KEONE YOUNG), has left others unhappy. Accordingly, Chev's rival, Verona (JOSE PABLO CANTILLO), has poisoned him in his sleep with something called the Beijing Cocktail that will kill him in an hour unless he can keep adrenaline pumping through his body that will keep the poison at bay, at least temporarily.

Seeking assistance from his cross-dressing friend Kaylo (EFREN RAMIREZ), medical advice from out-of-town Doc Miles (DWIGHT YOAKAM) and trying to find answers from his boss Carlito (CARLOS SANZ), Chev does whatever he can to stay alive, all while trying to protect Eve, get his revenge on Verona, and tie up various loose ends.

OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Despite its frenetic and nearly nonstop pace and premise that sounds promisingly simple but is obviously hard to pull off, this testosterone-laced flip side of "Run, Lola, Run" isn't anywhere as engaging, fun or lively as that import from a few years back.

Moreover, despite Statham repeatedly proving in prior films (such as the "Transporter" ones) that he can be quite good in this genre, this one's a mess. LionsGate didn't screen this film for critics before it opened (we can see why), so we're still working on this part of the review, but you'd best be served by finding another action flick rather than being assaulted by this one.




Reviewed September 1, 2006 / Posted September 1, 2006


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