This film was given to me by a friend, and is not usually a genre I spend a lot of time with; but that being said, I took Crank at face value and enjoyed it.
It is so much a video game on steroids, but what's wrong with that?
The plot is simplistic, stay pumped to stay alive; so the action is pretty much non-stop, but it isn't just all mindless shoot em up - there are enough inventive scenes, nice camera work, and some truly hilarious moments (boffing in chinatown is priceless).
All the stop action photography and split screen stuff makes the film come off very slick and now, however it's not something you'd want to do with Shakespeare; but since this isn't even a distant cousin to the bard, no worries!
Jason Stratham delivers a very solid performance, and since he's in every single frame of the film, it's his performance that carries it. Amy Smart is also spot on as the vapid valley girl girlfriend who the film uses for comic relief.
There are too many implausabilities, but if you just ignore them and go with the flow, you'll be entertained (all of Stratham's change of clothes, and how he keeps getting cash to pay for all the cab rides, and this after escaping from the hospital with only a gown and his cell phone).
No happy ending here, which makes a statement about mob life and goes counter to the glorification of violence that films of this ilk seem to revel in- a nice touch.
I also am in love with the 69 Buick Riviera - what a beautiful car - I hated to see it abandoned so soon.