I Got Crank'd

In my last article I promised to slow down on my sports intake -- particularly NBA and college hoops -- for the next few weeks and catch up on a slew of DVDs. Tonight I fall back on my word because Duke and North Carolina are going at it. But after what I just endured on DVD, it's well earned.

I rented (thank the heavens it can go back!) and just watched Crank for the first time. Boy oh boy, this movie is memorably bad. I will be telling my grandkids about this one. And here's the real kicker ... I expected this movie to be bad and it still took me by surprise. I wanted to shut my brain off for a couple of hours with a dumb action flick. You know, put the hard drive on sleep for a bit. I didn't want to inject it with a virus.

I thought this movie would be another Statham action dummy like The Transporter movies. Statham played a cool cat in those flicks and the action scenes -- while completely ludicrous -- at least had some excitement, originality or a "Wow, that's over-the-top" quality going. But this flick is dangerous. I really believe it has the power to destroy life on earth as we know it. Global warming, eat your heart out.

But seriously, this is a real low point for every actor involved, particularly Jason Statham -- an actor I've always liked -- and Amy Smart, who should be praying that no casting director ever lay eyes on this piece. It's an embarrassing performance in an embarrassing role. Smart and Statham no doubt thought they were making an outrageous no-holds-barred action flick, but they invested way too much trust in directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (who also crayoned the script). I actually feel bad for the actors.

The real shame of it is Crank has a great premise at its core. The story is the reason I was looking forward to the movie. Statham plays an assassin who is injected with a "Beijing Cocktail" by a rival. It's a powerful drug mix that will eventually slow his heart down until it stops. He has about an hour to live unless he can find a way to increase his heart rate, keep his adrenaline going. Mostly, Statham's character is throwing down Red Bulls like jello shots and beating people up to stay alive long enough to seek revenge. Hollywood likes to remake a lot of great movies. How about remaking a really, really bad one for once?

Dre Rivas

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Dre writes 5 times a week for Film.com, covering Movies and DVD with his Floridian flare.