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  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 09/07/06

When a hit man learns he's been poisoned, and that the only way to stay alive is to maintain an adrenalin high, well … sounds like an action movie.

And Crank is definitely action-packed. As Chev Chelios (Jason Stratham) strives to get revenge on his enemies, he packs his adventure with speed, sex, and stunts. Critics are staggering out of the film feeling weary, battered, and cranky.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it "noisy and endlessly unpleasant." The hero, he says, "shares a problem with many in modern culture: a need—in his case literal—to be constantly stimulated, with sex and violence being the drugs of choice. … A dizzying hybrid of Speed, D.O.A. and the 'Grand Theft Auto' computer game, the film … loads on the video-game-style action in an empty and mindless exercise."

Adam R. Holz (Plugged In) writes, " … [B]efore I let loose too many descriptors such as depraved, degenerate, obscene and immoral, let's make this short and simple: Crank is a pointlessly foul—not to mention bloody, profane and pornographic—cocktail. There's little else that needs to be said regarding this latest look-how-far-we're-going-to-push-it-just-because-we-can actioner."

"Loud." "Obnoxious." "Shallow." Those are some of the words used in the mainstream press, although there are apparently many who apparently enjoy loud, obnoxious, and shallow.