**½/**** Image B- Sound A- Extras B-
starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Dwight Yoakam
written and directed by Neveldine/Taylor
by Bryant Frazer A mere 13 years have passed since Crank tumbled roughly onto multiplex screens, but the film has not aged particularly well. In 2006, its down-and-dirty action aesthetic seemed almost futuristic, thanks to filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and their embrace of portable HiDef cameras, death-defying handheld camerawork, and aggressive, boundary-pushing visual style. But cinematic techniques have moved on, with ever-more-agile digital cameras making it easier than ever for action mavens to get tack-sharp images from impossible angles. Crank's stuntwork, much of it performed by the stars themselves, remains impressive, but it's pretty small beer compared to the latest instalments in state-of-the-art action franchises like Mission: Impossible and John Wick, which share Crank's daredevil aesthetic but eschew its rude, HDCAM-level physicality in favour of spectacular digital cinematography fit for enormous IMAX screens.