U.S., 2006/2009, 184 min, 35mm, Dir. Neveldine/Taylor, Rated R, Lionsgate
“Jason Statham is a testosteronic manly man made for doing bad things in metallic movies.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s Crank and Crank: High Voltage are films destined for cult appreciation, as brash and bold as one might expect from a film series that’s what Speed would look like if Jason Statham was playing the bus. To state it plainly: Crank is about Chev Chelios, an assassin who is injected with a poison that will kill him if his heart drops below a certain rate so he’s using his last hours to run carnage and rampage through the associates who betrayed him. Over a collective three hour period, Neveldine/Taylor deliver all kinds of outlandish content, including but most certainly not limited to self-electrocution, drug ingestion, helicopter fights, public sex, car crashes, and shootouts. It’s tasteless on numerous levels, sitting comfortably in the pantheon of vulgar auteurism, but crafted in a characteristically haphazard way - jammed with abrupt cuts and music video montaging, unsteady and continuous DV shots, heavy metal needle drops (including a pulsating score for High Voltage by avant-garde metal musician Mike Patton), and all the overdriven effects one can use, revving up audiences full of energy the same way a car battery or ADR juices up Chev.
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