Crank ★★½

the organizing instinct here is apparently "because we can", but "that doesn't mean you should" is a bullshit response since Neveldine/Taylor don't really do anything at all except rub your nose in their faux-transgressive sensibilities. i fully support just about any violently offensive and dissociative exploitation you can name but these guys aren't actually making any choices here, at least not yet. i'm not even asking them to be critical of the world they've depicted or to somehow ironically subvert their aesthetic; i just want them to organize their anarchic skill, which is plentiful and evident, behind something other than their jock douchebag sense of humor. the credit for this thing resides almost entirely with Statham and his rampaging bloody-kunckle embodiment of a Tex Avery character. only the final moments manage some sort of transcendence, beginning with the helicopter fight scene, where you can practically feel the bungee cord straining to keep you from falling out of the cabin, the camera (and noticeably not a greenscreen composite) placing Statham's seemingly indestructible but still-somehow-flesh-and-blood body against the L.A. skyline. keep trying guys.