September, 2006, Thriller

Directed by:Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

Starring:Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Keone Young, and Carlos Sanz

Rip Off (rip-awf) –noun, slang

an act or instance of ripping off others; a theft, cheat or swindle

exploitation, esp. of those who cannot prevent or counter

a copy or imitation

a person who rips off another; thief or swindler

Random House Unabridged Dictionary

Take the premise of 1950’s D.O.A., (a poisoned man races to discover the identity of his assailant before dying) amp up it’s tempo by stealing the concept behind 1994’s Speed, (in which a bus must be driven above 50 miles an hour in order to avoid detonating a bomb that’s been placed on board) slather liberally with the stylized gonzo violence of director Quentin Tarantino, (minus his wit and screenwriting ability) and you have some sense of the dreadful Crank. Despite the presence of Jason Statham, (one of the more interesting actors currently working in the action genre) this film easily ranks as the worst of this year’s baleful crop of Hollywood movies; everyone associated with its production ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Gruesomely violent, incoherently plotted, witlessly humorless even when it’s straining to generate laughs and possessing an endlessly irritating musical soundtrack, Crank greatest offense lies in its complete waste of the skills of its leading man, whose career has featured impressive turns in several gritty but compelling supporting roles, (The Italian Job, Cellular) as well as those in which he’s been the leading man, (The Transporter, I & II, Chaos). This former Olympic diver-turned-model-turned-actor possesses the quietly understated strength Steve McQueen conveyed in his movies from the early 1960’s, but Statham will have to redeem himself in the future to make up for his inexplicable appearance in this one.

The verdict?  87 minutes of unadulterated, rankly odious garbage.


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