Thursday, June 10, 2010

Joie' De Vivre On Celluloid: Crank

You have to give the guys (writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor) credit. They understand their script, and with that understanding, they saw the approach couln't be one that takes the film too seriously. Trying to present the film as some kind of thrill-a-minute, actioner, would have been fatal without it's humor, very dark humor in deed, but very good stuff none-the-less.

But Wait! there's More!

With a plot like this, you'd have to get pretty inventive to keep it going, and then double that brain power to keep it fresh, funny, and smart all at the same time. The final product of a thinking brain to the second power, is this film. There's even a small plot point this film has with Swordfish, but I'll let you figure it out...

It's like Running Scared (another good '06 film) with jokes below the surface of everything it does. The tongue-in-cheek approach is the way to go. The humor is dripping off this movie, just enough to let you know, they understand this is a ridiculous experience, and to try and "Nolanize" the film, would be a very poor mistake in deed. And I loved every second of it. Bravo for Neveldine and Taylor. 

Chev Chelios (Statham) has just woke up to a DVD (titled Fuck You) telling him by his killer, he's been slipped a Chinese Cocktail, or "The Chinese Shit", and he has one hour to live. So Chelios sets out to get back at his assailant and find the antidote for himself. The rest of t

Guiding the set-up through it's dark, dreary and violent scenes of mayhem is the wisely chosen music, letting you know, "We're here to have, isn't this film great?" With sometimes corny, sometimes sweet, sometimes outdated or left-field songs. Throwing you curve after curve ball, and then a change up. Like the film, just when you think, "no way dude, this is it," another one is thrown out for you, and it makes you smile at what scene it's set to Statham doing. When your not laughing at something (mostly Statham find new roots as a comedy actor with superb timing) your wide-eyed and busy-tailed at the action and excitement. Hell, maybe this film gives you a "Chinese Cocktail" of it's own?

Amy Smart plays the (somewhat) ditsy blond girlfriend who thinks she dating a video game programmer. Smart's line of dialogue, letting you know just what kind of character's she's playing is this gem:
"Don't talk to him like that! My boyfriend kills people!"
She's so very good at what she does, in everything, this film is no exception to that. And in this one, we see her, acting cutesy in love over Statham at the most believable I've seen it in a while. And the next second she's hard core mad, throwing snarky quips, or sometimes punches. Statham is essentially... Statham. Which is everything this film needs. Tough, groggy British voice, 5 (10) O' clock shadow. He is no martial arts master here, just a tough talking, hit man, who fires a gun and punches people. And not very well at that too, which is another thing I really liked. Sure, he works for a crime syndicate, but that doesn't mean he's fuckin' Superman.

Yeah sure, it's four years old, but that was the time of this decade when you could start throwing movies like this out there, and get away with it. Look at some of the stuff around today? And a lot of that shit isn't even as smart as this one, or as unique. Like South Park, this film is much more than meets the eye (Michael Bay could use some of that knowledge).

In the words of Chelios' girlfriend, Eve:
"You're like an adrenaline junkie with no soul."
With a very unique soul, all it's own, this film is like a super-charged music video. Which, in this case, is as cool as it sounds. Some have noted it's more like alive-action video game, which again, is as cool as it sounds in this case. So 3 'Nanas for Statham in his hospital gown, Amy and her sexual adventure coursing through her veins, and of course, that little green bird getting accidentally blown up by a shot from a bullet through it's cage.

Aww... poor birdy.

Munki out.

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