If you thought Transporter 2 pushed the action movie as far as it can go, get ready to have your brain filled with TNT, 'cause Statham is just getting started Baby!
Released the year after Transporter 2, Crank is both a simple high concept action thriller and one of the most gonzo boundary- and taboo-busting movies I've ever seen.
Statham plays Chev Chelios. Chelios is not a good man. He works for more bad men. Said bad men inject Chelios with a poison that will kill him if he does not keep his heart rate up. Chelios does. And kills the bad men.
This movie is so stripped down and pure -- actually pure is the wrong word for this movie. Crank is dirty. In his journey to keep himself alive Chelios is willing to do literally anything to keep himself alive -- from chugging Red Bulls to taking hard drugs to using a defibrillator to having public sex. And all the while, he is trying to find the people who crossed him.
The whole crazy thing defies plot description. There's a bizarre scene in a hotel where models hang out in massive glass balls. In about the same amount of time it takes you to go 'What the f...', a shootout happens and all these poor women get wiped out. The whole movie is filled with bizarre non-sequiturs like this.
Directed by the diabolical twosome of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, Crank is the movie equivalent of a coke addict, veering from one debauched set piece to something even more insane.
And at the centre of the madness, Jason Statham is perfection. His natural stoicism has always had a whiff of irony (intentional or otherwise), and juxtaposed against the madness of Crank it is elevated to another level. He is the straight man to the crazy, his scowl the punchline to the movie's sick joke. Spy didn't prove Statham was funny -- Crank did.
If you want to watch a great Statham movie, check this sucker out. It's a prime steak of Statham, garnished with a layer of Neveldine/Taylor BBQ sauce.
The Transporter (2002)
Transporter 2 (2005)