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Crank

Film Four Stars

This review is long overdue, a week to be exact, so I apologise if you've already seen it but I'm going to write this review anyway because I loved this film.

I like Jason Statham, I think he's got great screen presence, and he's our action hero who needs as many roles as we can throw at him. In Crank he's just perfect, he gets to play his English sarcasm, fights with his great physical ability, poses to the camera a lot, and play a damn good role really well.

Then there's the film itself which is packed so full of styling it's insane. It reminds me of the first time I watched Run Lola Run and marvelled at what was all packed in there. Well this is Run Lola Run on speed. In fact liquid speed, mixed with nitrous and injected straight into the eyeballs.

Crank_Poster.jpgFirst up, as usual, many thanks to the Ladies and Gents at the Edinburgh Ocean Terminal Vue Cinema for helping me out with this review. They're really good to me and Filmstalker, and long may it continue. They're a huge company and don't need to spend their time with smaller sites like me, so it really is appreciated. I genuinely think they have the best multiplex cinema in Edinburgh, and I mean that as an individual audience member, really I do.

So back to Crank. It's a film about Chev Chelios, played by Statham, who is a professional hitman. One morning he wakes up to find he has been injected with a synthetic chemical which will slowly kill him, however, he soon discovers that if he keeps his adrenaline high then the drug is warded off and he can survive a little longer. Long enough to hunt down his killers and exact revenge. Except it's not that easy, and the killing line runs far.

This was an excellent and extremely fun film which mixes a number of styles. I've seen this done in other films before, and more often than not it appears disjointed and quite messy, with the styles overtaking the story itself, but not here. Crank mixes the styles together really well and produces a fast paced and quite tense film, where the style never overtakes the story but compliments it and pushes it forward.

The film was mainly shot with high speed cameras with the two directors filming from different angles for many of the sequences. This gave a fast, high paced feel to the film and in particular those action sequences which Statham is so good at.

This is no different, although there's much less martial arts and more simple street fighting. The stunts are excellent, with some amazing set pieces which provide for plenty of entertainment and excitement. You really do get the sense that Statham is one angry, and very dangerous, man.

At the same time as all this high paced action, the film retains a very strong tongue in cheek look on itself. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the character of Eve played by the gorgeous Amy Smart. She provides for some great comic moments playing off of Statham, and they work together well on screen. The comedy is very well written and doesn't stand out from the speed of the story, in fact it feels very realistic and human, especially when it plays on Statham's English (and indeed British) sarcasm.

I was surprised at how well written the whole film is, although there are a few sticking points for me, one being the Chinatown street scene - you'll realise what I mean when you see it - but apart from that there does seem to have been a lot of care taken in creating this script, and not just bashing together some mindless action story.

It leaps between the action, comedy, some quite bloody fight scenes, and the serious moments effortlessly, taking the audience along with them. If you like action films then this hybrid movie is definitely up your street. It's incredibly easy to watch because it delivers entertainment, action, fun, laughs, and a serious punch or two. Excellent entertainment.

Oh, and before I turn to the trailers, there's a nice little finisher at the end which ties in with the opening credits.


Trailers:
Saw III
This was the Internet trailer we've all already seen, but it's a great example of how different a trailer is on the big screen as compared with on your computer. Here there's a hell of a lot more atmosphere and depth to it. It looks scary. Interestingly for the UK showing the word "America" is removed from the baddies speech at the end of the trailer.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
This didn't really do anything for me, and I don't suppose it's just me growing older and losing touch with this type of humour. Sure I think that has something to do with it, but it's not the sole reason, I just think comedy nowadays can't do silly funny, they just do stupid, and that's where this trailer lay for me. It took all the standard comic routes, never a surprise, and never a laugh. Fortunately for me, the entire audience agreed.

DOA: Dead or Alive
Sorry everyone, I'm sold on this. The film looks great fun, and I mean apart from the ladies in bikinis. Some of the stunts look superb, and there's plenty of DOA styling thrown in. I'm going to grab one of my male friends (not in that way) and head out to see this.

Dirty Sanchez: The Movie
So it's the UK copycats of Jackass, just even stupider with more self harmful stunts. No thanks. I've seen it with Jackass, and I'll probably see more with the follow up. They manage to hit the line between funny and insane just right, sometimes they go over, but the next skit they always come back, unlike these guys who just look like they live insane and stupid.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
This is a fantastic trailer. It hits all the right buttons from the word go, it shows you the familiar territory of the story, keeps the connections there, and brings you right back to the beginning. The great thing seems to be, and forgive me as I haven't seen the recent remake, that it holds the same horror and shocking qualities the original did.


Edinburgh Ocean Terminal Vue Cinema
IMDB UK Film Details




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