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Poison in his veins. Vengeance in his heart. 

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Crank

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo

Imagine getting injected with a poison that will kill you if you heart rate drops below a certain level. This rather chilling scenario is exactly what happens to Chev Chelios. He should have expected it though, being a professional assassin working for the West Coast crime syndicate. To be fair, shit was going to happen.

Chev (Statham) is planning to quit the crime syndicate in order to spend more time with his girlfriend, Eve (Smart.) Eve does not know about her boyfriend’s real life-style so cue the awkward moment when the truth comes to the fore – “Remember I told you I was a video-game programmer?” For Chev though, this is the least of his worries. Injected with the “Beijing Cocktail” by one of his rivals, he has to try and stay alive and seeks help from friends, Kayo and Doc Miles, who try to keep his heart pumping. Chev sets out to the find answers as well as protect Eve and (not forgetting) to get his revenge on those who have betrayed him before the poison kills him.

The film is one mad dash and a race against time. As an audience member you will feel your blood pressure rising as Chev tries to keep his own heart racing. The furious hand-held camera moments (expertly used by Neveldine and Taylor) are incorporated into the action perfectly and add to the panicked atmosphere. Crank is all about adrenaline and Statham is the perfect man to watch, pacing through the whole film. He certainly carries the film very well (and has become quite the heartthrob) but his fellow cast members are very bit his equal. However, do not be fooled into judging Crank as some sort of Speed spin off without a bus. There is a real underlying emotional intensity, wit, humour and a fantastic script.

The film has an ingenious high concept that justifies all manner of breakneck lunacy: Statham riding a motorbike dressed in a hospital gown, getting a little bit too familiar with his girlfriend in the middle of a Chinatown market, and fighting his enemy, Verona (Cantillo), whilst dangling out of a helicopter. Statham pulls it all off.

Brilliant, ingenious and undeniably cool, Crank is cinema heaven. An insane and criminally fun film.

Victoria Galloway

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)