People seem to have this weird notion that I hate fun. Mostly because, as a man who has probably watched too many movies, I tend over analyze them. Which is why when someone gives me this observation that I immediately point out Crank is one of my all time favorite films. It is a bit of a noodle scratchier for this list considering you have seen the likes of Sunset Blvd and Stagecoach on here. There is several reasons why I love this movie but mostly it boils down to this: It is a fucking fun movie.
There are movies that I would list as ‘crazytown’. Where the emphasis is more on making very weird decisions and ultimately making a ‘movie’ rather than a ‘film’. Right from the get-go you can immediately tell this is a film that is always kinetic and never wants to stop which is appropriate given that the plot is about a man who needs to keep going to stay alive. The ways Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor go to keep Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) going goes from absurd to insane. But it all feels natural to a certain extent and, unlike the pointless (yet still fun) sequel, some thought was put into this story.
These two scenes are a nice spectrum of crazy we get in this film. The first involves Statham chopping a goon’s hand off and yet somehow this dude is still able to put up a fight. Also, Statham is able to use the dude’s severed hand to shoot a gun. Not THE craziest moment in the film but it is certainly up there. But then you get a quiet scene towards the very end with the second clip but it is still pretty nuts. For some reason this is where the filmmakers decided to put backstory into Chev Chelios in the form of hallucinations. It is honestly the most jarring sequence in the film because it is a well done scene and it shows what these guys can do if you rein them in a bit.
In fact this film is actually pretty well thought out in terms of production design. Not just because Chelios uses a video game designer as a front to his girlfriend; but the theme of the film seems to be how much of a video game it is.The movie’s frenetic camera angles are like a first person shooter, key items are always glowing some shade of blue, and vehicles have this orange/red color scheme just to remind the main character what he can & cannot use. It is something you would never notice at first glance because, again, this is a ‘crazytown’ kind of picture. But because I have seen this movie a lot and I tend to over analyze; I got this production design down. So much so I got an ‘A’ on a major paper for a college class on ‘Film Aesthetics’ and impressed the Professor that this kind of film had this much care into it. Go figure.
I could keep going on why Crank is so entertaining. I didn’t even get into how this started on my love of all things Jason Statham and boy have I seen a lot of garbage because this dude pretty much says yes to anything. I always tend to watch this film a lot though especially when I need to be reminded not all films have to be so serious all the time. Even if Neveldine and Taylor put a lot of thought into this film at the end of the day you are just gonna remember how crazy stupid it is. Honestly, that’s what gives it is ultimate charm.