Thursday, January 18, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW >> 'Crank' hits hard, falls short

By Staff Sgt. Mitchell Lombard
Special to The Drop Zone

‘Rated R for violence, language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.


What would you do if you had an hour to live? Truth be told, I’m so indecisive that I would probably still be thinking about it as my life ended. As it turns out, there is at least one hired killer who knew exactly what he wanted to do with his last moments on Earth. After carrying out his latest job, assassin Chev Chelio gets the unfortunate news that he has been injected with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops too low. With that tidbit of info, an adrenaline-filled mission of vengeance erupts that hardly stops to take a breath.

As with most action films, I tempered my expectations for acting performance, and rightly so. Jason Statham is charming but unimpressive as our hero hitman. Amy Smart also peeks in halfway through in a distractingly meaningless role as Chev’s girlfriend and doesn’t bring much to the screen.

‘Crank’ presents us with some interesting plot ideas and cinematography; even though I believe it was all handled somewhat clumsily. The idea of a poison that doesn’t allow you to slow down has gobs of potential, and it’s unfortunate that this film mostly squandered it.

I did laugh a bit more than I would have expected, and some of the scenes were fun to watch, but it did little to quell my largest complaint: We saw nothing new. While the premise was fresh, the action sequences were surprisingly bland and ultimately uncreative.

After films like ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Terminator 2,’ and ‘The Matrix,’ any halfway discerning action fan will require more than 90 minutes of a juiced-up hitman running through city streets killing people, stopping only to spend some frustrating quality time with his new girlfriend.

I had hardly heard of this film when I noticed it was being released last week. That always helps since it eliminates any chance for me to form a preconception about it. It’s a good thing I didn’t, because I might have been even more disappointed.

Now available at your base Shoppette.


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