Jason Statham’s Latest Action Thriller on Netflix Promises His Most Intense Performance Yet

Jason Statham’s Latest Action Thriller on Netflix Promises His Most Intense Performance Yet

jason statham

Years before Jason Statham took on the recurring role of Lee Christmas in the Expendables franchise, he starred in Crank. Though it has been reported that this action thriller was originally written with Johnny Knoxville from Jackass in mind for the lead role, it’s probably for the better that Statham was ultimately selected to throw down and do his thing. This 2006 action thriller can be streamed on Netflix, and is a must-see for anybody who needs a massive a adrenaline rush without leaving their living room.

Crank, starring Jason Statham, is streaming now on Netflix.

Crank is one of those movies that puts a breath of fresh air into the “zero hour” trope, which has been played out in many other film franchises that preceded it. Typically speaking, this trope involves a race against the clock to disarm a bomb, but Crank puts a new spin on the plot device by turning Jason Statham into the ticking time-bomb that needs to be neutralized.

In Crank, Jason Statham plays a hit man named Chev Chelios who does the dirty work for an organized crime syndicate. After being tasked with assassinating mafia boss Don Kim, an up-and-coming criminal named Ricky Verona conspires with Chelios’ boss, Carlito, to eliminate Chelios so Kim’s gang won’t retaliate.

Crank is a lot like the movie Speed. But in this film, the bomb is Chelios’ heart, and the bus is Jason Statham.

While Chelios is sleeping in his apartment, Verona and his henchmen break in, and inject him with a synthetic Chinese drug that inhibits the flow of adrenaline, which will eventually cause his heart to stop beating and kill him. From this point forward, Crank does not let up, and we watch Jason Statham go full-on Jason Statham as he continues to put himself into heightened situations to keep his adrenaline flowing while frantically searching for an antidote.

Crank (2006)

While subjecting himself to dangerous acts like picking fights with police officers, having sex in public, and taking copious amounts of stimulants, Chelios is on the war path to cure his condition and exact revenge against Carlito, Verona and their goons.

Crank is a lot like the movie Speed. But in this film, the bomb is Chelios’ heart, and the bus is Jason Statham.

What truly sets Crank apart from its contemporaries is the use of comic relief. Though this Crank has all of the beats one would expect to find in your typical action movie, there’s something inherently funny about watching a man voluntarily subject himself to extreme levels of over-stimulation in order to survive.

In fact, most people who champion this movie praise it for being more of a dark comedy with lots of action rather than an action movie that has some jokes peppered throughout.

Despite the film’s inherent ridiculousness, its combination of deadpan delivery and extreme action sequences make you simultaneously cringe and laugh out loud, which is no easy feat.

But what’s most impressive about Crank is that Jason Statham performed most of his own fight and car stunt sequences. Even the helicopter fight scene that took place 3,000 feet above Los Angeles was performed by Statham himself.

jason statham

On the critical front, Crank received mixed to average reviews, garnering a 62 percent critical score against a 71 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The funny thing about the reviews, however, is that both the positive and negative reviews basically say the same thing: it’s gratuitous, ridiculous, and unbelievably over-the-top. That is to say, your enjoyment of this Jason Statham film will very much hinge on your expectations going into it.

One review illustrates this point perfectly by stating that Crank is “totally ridiculous, unbelievable, exhausting, and pretty much just plain stupid.” While this sounds like a negative review, it concludes with “but that’s what makes it fun.”

Despite the film’s inherent ridiculousness, its combination of deadpan delivery and extreme action sequences make you simultaneously cringe and laugh out loud, which is no easy feat.

Commercially speaking, Crank pulled in nearly $43 million against a relatively modest production budget of $12 million. Though this Jason Statham film predates the notion of pulling in MCU box office numbers, it was profitable enough to get green-lit for a sequel titled Crank: High Voltage, which came out in 2009.

Crank will require you to suspend a healthy amount of disbelief to enjoy it, but if you’re able to sit back and watch the story unfold, you will not be disappointed. Jason Statham delivers a powerhouse performance that shouldn’t be overlooked, and his commitment to Crankabsurdity makes it one of this best roles to date.

 

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