★★★ / ★★★★
Even though this action movie is beyond silly, I really enjoyed it because I was entertained all the way through. Jason Statham stars as a hitman who one day wakes up and finds out that the people who he used to work with put poison in his veins. The only way he can slow the poison down is to keep finding ways for his body to make adrenaline. Being a Biological Sciences major, I was really amused when one of the doctors described to Statham what he must do in order to live. Surprisingly enough, especially for such a silly movie like this, the explanation regarding epinephrine and the blocked receptors explanation made sense. (I want to go into more scientific details about this but I will restrain myself.) I thought it was hilarious how Statham’s character kept finding atrocious ways to keep his adrenaline going: chugging down bottles of cough medicine, purposely burning himself, or just moving really aggressively while using music as a cue. But my favorite has got to be that scene in Chinatown when he and his girlfriend (played with such a breath of fresh air by Amy Smart) had sex in public. As crude as it was, it was done in such a bona fide manner so I couldn’t help but laugh. I also thought that Jose Pablo Cantillo as the villain named Verona was pretty effective. Eventually, we learn that he’s not as tough as he tries to be; I really enjoyed the scenes when Statham would tease him as being a sissy because of Cantillo would have such an over-the-top reaction. I also enjoyed the gay jokes even though some of them were really offensive because it managed to fuse some sort of homoeroticism in its characters. (Something that is not unfamiliar with Statham’s movies.) The only thing I didn’t like about it was the objectification of women. Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, “Crank” may not be the best of anything but I was pleased that it embraced everything that it could manage to work with. For a running time of about eighty-eight minutes, I felt like the film used every single minute to provide escapist fun for its audiences. On that level, it more than succeeds.