In Crank, David Statham is poisoned and the only way to stem the tide of the toxin is to keep his adrenalin up. He needs to pump that adrenalin long enough to exact his revenge on his killers. Could you ask for a more perfect premise for a no-holds-barred action rampage? Probably not, but you could ask for better execution.
Statham is B-Movie hero all the way and Crank doesnít take him beyond that. Crank tries to create the kind of energy and cache of the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels of Kill Bill variety but first time directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor just arenít Guy Ritchie or Quentin Tranantino. They just donít have the creative chops to materialize the cool-ass mythology or richly integrated characters that make films like that work.
Without the ďcoolnessĒ factor in their favour, the film makersí only other tool is the non-stop action that they try to crank out of Crank. Mostly, this works but itís so over the top that it really needs the film to create a complete universe to place the outrageous action in. They never get there.
We buy what ďthe BrideĒ does in Kill Bill because Tranatino gives us a world to put her in and makes us believe it. Crank just isnít done that well and so the action just feels like a video game. You laugh a lot, not because itís genuinely funny, but because itís cheap. You arenít laughing with the film, youíre laughing at it. Not a good thing.
David Statham is a decent actor and looks believable in the stunts. He could make a good action star and break out of the cheap seats if he could get a better gig than Crank. Hereís hoping his agent starts working for the money instead of putting in Crank 2.