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"Crank" It Up

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I generally like my movies in three distinct flavors:

  • Super-funny lowbrow comedies, such as "Old School", "Friday", "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle", and any other movie where the mere sight of the main character makes you bust a gut.
  • Smart, well-written puzzlers that make you say "What the HELL just HAPPENED?" at the end of them, such as "The Usual Suspects" or "Memento", or any movie involving some sort of elaborate heist of diamonds or bearer bonds or treasury notes or some other obscure, can't-spend-it-at-Wal-Mart-type currency.
  • Dumb, shoot-'em-up movies that offer nothing in the way of intelligence or cinematic quality, but show you ample boobs and explosions by the metric ton.
"Crank" firmly occupies that last category. In fact, it's so well entrenched there that it actually shot two other movies that thought about moving into that position. I don't get to go to the movies very often, so when I do, I make sure it's something worthwhile. Not to say that "X-Men" and "Superman" and "Lady In The Water" and countless other summer hits weren't up to snuff, but I knew that I could see them on DVD and still pretty much get the entire feel of the theater experience, minus the fuckbolt behind me kicking my chair like he's David Beckham and the seat is a soccer ball with a picture of The Spice Girls on it. A beautiful window of opportunity opened up Saturday night, so DWW and I decided to airdrop the kids onto an unsuspecting babysitter, and hit the flicks. DWW likes Jason Stathum (he's in "The Transporter", another good movie), I like him plus explosions, so it was a match. Off we went. Now, if you're unfamiliar with the so-called "plot" of this movie, here it is, straight from
A hit man (Statham) learns that a poison injected into his body will kill him if his heart rate drops slows a certain point. Now he must exact his revenge on the people who injected him before he takes his last breath.
There. If THAT doesn't grab you, check out the trailer. Yeah. This movie had to be seen by me. People, let me tell you — it takes a lot for a movie to shock me. I've seen it all, and I'm a bit of a buff, especially for hyper-violent escapism like this, but this movie basically sat me down, straightened my collar for me, got me a glass of cool water, then punched me in the neck while I swallowed. Most movies gently guide you into their world, introducing you to the characters, showing you some background, giving you the chance to get your theatrical bearings before launching into the story. Not "Crank". THAT bitch starts off immediately with no lube. I won't give away the plot, but I'll highlight some of the outlandish shit I saw in this movie:
  • A girl giving a guy a blowjob while he's eluding killers in a high-speed chase. Oh yeah, and they're shooting at each other.
  • A man walking up to a motorcycle cop, taking his gun from him, throwing it, and then stealing his motorcycle - while in a hospital gown.
  • A man walking into a black gang bar, pulling a gun on the dude running things, then saying out loud "I feel like kicking some black ass!"
  • Two men fighting each other while falling from a helicopter toward the ground. Neither man wore a parachute, and there was no water or awning or trampoline or anything beneath them to break their fall.
  • Someone getting his hand chopped off, then getting shot by the gun that his hand was holding - WHILE THE GUN WAS STILL IN THE SEVERED HAND.
  • A man requesting to be shocked with a pair of those start-your-heart-again paddles they use in hospitals. They did. He flew.
  • A car chase through a mall, reminiscent of "The Blues Brothers", while the lead car driver spoke calmly on a cell phone.
  • A man intentionally frying his hand on a waffle iron.
  • A doctor who says (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Cocaine? Yeah, that'll work. But you really need some epinephrine." and then "I mixed it with some meth so you'll feel good."
  • Two people having VERY public sex on a newspaper machine in the middle of Chinatown in broad daylight while hundreds of people huddled around, watching and cheering.
And when the movie was over, it was OVER. Climax, black screen, credits. No exposition. No "here's what happened to the characters later" shit. That shit was just over. The seats practically ejected us. As we all exited the theater, no one knew quite what to say. Finally, after hemming and hawing over what I had just witnessed, I turned to DWW and blurted out this chunk of burning wisdom: "Holy shit. I LOVED THAT MOVIE!" I should be a critic. And if you like wild-ass crazy super-violent movies, you should see "Crank". Oh, and then rent "Hard Boiled" starring Chow Yun-Fat. Get the dubbed version, not the subtitles. You don't wanna have to read while your eyes are bugging out. Peace.


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