Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is a West Coast hitman who wakes up to discover that he's a dead man. Poisoned with a heart-stopping cocktail, he has to keep his adrenalin levels sky-high while hunting down his lethal injector - because he'll take his revenge if it's the last thing he does. Motion-sickness sufferers are advised to keep their medication handy since Chev's ultraviolent and unstoppably entertaining vendetta plays out like a live-action cartoon.
Jose Pablo Cantillo
D.O.A. is a 1950 film noir (remade in 1988 with Dennis Quaid) about a man who has been poisoned and has one day to find his killer before he dies. Speed is a breakneck thriller about people who have to keep moving very fast or they will die.
Crank is D.O.A. on Speed.
The head-rush begins when Lahndan-accented assassin Chev (Statham) groggily puts on a DVD to see himself being injected with a lethal 'Beijing cocktail' by sneering crimelord Verona (Cantillo). (It's payback for Chev's last hit.)
Calling his doctor (the ever-seedy Dwight Yoakam), Chev learns that unless he maintains a constant supply of adrenalin to his heart, he's dead.
With the biological bomb ticking and nothing left to lose, Chev sets out to do two things: give the bad news to his girlfriend Eve (Smart, Road Trip) and send Verona to the grave first.
All the while he has to do whatever it takes to keep the blood pumping - which is where the fun lies.
Cocaine, Red Bull, nasal spray and a quick burst from defibrillators keep him going until a syringeful of epinephrine (artificial adrenalin) turns him into the next Justin Gatlin.
He also ditches his car on a shopping mall escalator, takes a bare-arsed spin on a police motorbike and, of course, has an inexhaustible supply of goons to shoot at, beat up and mutilate.
The violence is hardcore but co-creators Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor inject proceedings with a healthy dose of jokey self-awareness and empty their bag of camera tricks to make it a manically edited joyride.
Statham and Smart also deserve a big hand for performing not one but two outrageous acts of public indecency. The latter's role is, however, unlikely to land her many Shakespeare gigs... or make her granny proud.
Completely looney tunes, Crank is a class-A fix for action junkies.