Chev Chelios is a professional hitman and is about to wake up and find out he is rather a lot of trouble. Chev has been targeted by another assassin who has injected him with a Chinese poison intended to kill him within the hour. But Chev is determined not to let the poison kill him and realising adrenaline keeps the poison at bay, he sets off on a rampage across Los Angeles to catch the man who did this to him, but more importantly to keep himself alive.
Obviously the premise of this film seems utterly ridiculous, and to be honest so does the name of Jason Stathams character but that is what I liked about this film. It didn’t seem to pretend to be anything but what it is – a high-action violent flick with an unrealistic plot line. However, it is really this silly idea of adrenaline keeping poison at bay which allows the film to get so full of action and consequently the entire duration of the film is energetic and crammed full of action from beginning to end.
Statham seems to have pidgeon-holed himself into the same sort of roles, as I’ve never seen him do anything other than the action hero in films, from films like The Transporter series to the more recent War. But it really is what he does best, and that London accent seems almost comical in these action films, giving him a certain edge in these films. He has the demeanor and physique to pull off these roles with ease, and clearly enjoys the high action roles. This film requires 90 minutes of fighting, running, chasing and a quick relationship on the side, and Statham manages to pull off it fantastically.
Being an 18, I was aware when I started to watch it that this film was going to contain a lot of violence, and it certainly doesn’t fail to deliver on that front. There is plenty of gun action, fighting and loss of limbs throughout, although it didn’t seem too gratuitous because of the nature of the film it seemed to work fine. I don’t like too much violence and I found this film perfectly watchable and not too gory or over the top. The language is very coarse throughout, with use of the “c-word” throughout as well the other expletives we seem to hear in all movies these days so nothing new there either.
The action scenes in this film are really fantastic and make you want to keep watching to see what they’re going to do next. Because of the need for adrenalin for Chev, the makers have been able to include some reallyy fast-paced car chases, chases around hospital and also a rather public love session with Chev’s girlfriend Eve. Amy Smart took on this role and was truly awful, in fact it was cringing to watch and I just wanted to give her a smack and tell her to put her brain in gear because she just seemed so thick! But she did serve to make Statham look a tad intelligent, so it’s not all bad I suppose! Back to the action, the car chases were very good, and a particular through a shopping mall did make me laugh! The special effects throughout are very good, from the car chases to zoomed in injuries.
This film really worked for me for a couple of reasons. It doesn’t attempt to take itself too seriously, and this is most definitely a good thing because of the unrealistic nature of the story. But somehow because of the cast and their great performances you can believe what you’re seeing and consequently the result is a very enjoyable 90 minutes or so. Statham is great in this role, showing us his action repetoire once more in this film, and a flash of his bottom for good measure too! His supporting cast do a good job in continuing the story for the duration, and I must say silly as it was, this was a very enjoyable action flick, albeit a rather violent one! I would recommend this but perhaps only to fans of Statham, or somewhat silly action movies! Oh, and Crank 2: High Voltage is due to release in the UK in April 2009, I think I’ll be watching that!
Writers and Directors: Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine
Release Date: September 2006 UK)
Certificate: 18 (Violence, language)
Running Time: 87 minutes
ason Statham … Chev Chelios
Amy Smart … Eve
Jose Pablo Cantillo … Verona
Efren Ramirez … Kaylo
Dwight Yoakam … Doc Miles
Carlos Sanz … Carlito
Thank you for reading!