Crank (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Crank 4K ReviewCrank is fondly immortalized in my memories as one of the first elite Blu-ray titles that overwhelmingly wowed and showed off how razor sharp certain 1080p video footage could be.  I know we have come a long way since then with both 4K and 8K video sources and displays, but in the early days of HD (circa 2006) this was an absolute looker.   I fondly remember my eyes being dried out taking this in for the first time as I had never seen anything that chiseled before on my Sony 40” HDTV monitor at the time.  Wow!  This brings back so many memories, but honestly it was only 13 years ago not the lifetime I seem to be painting here.  That does warrant and raises the following question.  Since Crank was captured from a multitude of sources, some not even 1080p, how is this one going to look on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format?  After we get through the Film 101 below that’s going to be the subject we tackle next.  So stay tuned and if you’re just here for the A/V specs, by all means jump down to it below.

Crank (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)


I don’t even know how to categorize Crank in a genre.  It’s a film movement in its own right.  If there was ever a genre called the “Energy Drink” or “Red Bull” genre, then Crank would fit neatly in it.  In fact the title of the movie comes from the slang word for methamphetamine.  So since there’s no such genre as what I referred to this flick as let’s just call it a very sleek, high octane American action feature.  It was both written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, which also solidified their directorial debut status.  Crank’s highly adrenalized delivery was successful no thanks in part to the pumped up jams, innovative/highly stylized editing and camera captures and its larger than life persona/charisma of Jason Statham.  Rounding out the cast here also includes the likes of Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez, Carlos Sanz and even country music sensation Dwight Yoakam (this guy cracks me up too).

So if you’ve never seen Crank before, I don’t think I could ever do true justice explaining what it’s all about.  I know one thing for sure.  It’s definitely not for everyone.  I know lots and lots of folks who hated it.  However, for me, it was just the right amount of crazy and eye popping goodies to make me an instant fan my very first viewing of it on Blu-ray (blind purchase for me back then).  Crank’s runtime may only be a mere 88 minutes, but the pace at which it moves simulates actually being high on adrenaline to prevent your heart from stopping, sex and all.  Did I lose you yet?  Ha ha.  Whenever one sees the word “sex’ sometimes it’s like a complete and utter distraction.  I’m sorry about that, but it is very relevant to our subject matter here.  Crank was also successful enough ($42 million at the box office against a $12 million budget) to warrant a sequel, which was released in 2009 called Crank: High Voltage.  I really do hope this latter title finds its way to 4K disc too.

The plot of Crank revolves around a hitman in Los Angeles named Chev Chelios (Stratham).  He is poisoned by his enemies, but not by any ordinary means.  He receives instructions that in order to halt the poison from ultimately killing him he must keep his heart ticking at all costs.  In other words this means he has to keep his “adrenaline” flowing at all times.  You’re probably asking yourself how do you accomplish this.  Well I’m glad you asked.  He keeps himself alive though various methods such as taking drugs, getting into brawls, electrocuting himself, having “sex” and so much more.  All the while he’s trying to keep the peace with his girlfriend (Smart) and track down the man who poisoned him.  Sound like your proverbial cup of tea?  It’s definitely mine!

In addition to Crank’s wild pacing, crazy soundtrack and style here’s what I find most interesting about it.  The film was originally written in 2003 with Johnny Knoxville in mind for the lead role.  In addition the film was shot on location in Los Angeles.  However, that latter tidbit is not fascinating.  I know that.  What is quite incredible was how the adrenaline action junkie flick was captured.  Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor operated both “a” and “b” cameras, where one would get a wide shot and the other would get a close-up shot.  Furthermore, Jason Statham did all of his own fight and car stunts, including the finale fight in a helicopter some 3,000 feet above Los Angeles.  How’s that for balls, Tom Cruise?  Woohoo!

Crank (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Lionsgate’s Crank.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 2160p
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (full widescreen 16×9)
  • Clarity/Detail: Here’s the problem with Crank.  There are lots of different video sources compiled here.  Some is SD and most is HD.  I know what you’re thinking.  This is 4K.  That’s what makes this choice to bring Crank to the 4K so perplexing.  It really has no right being so.  However, let’s cover the good here like stubble, detailed popcorn ceilings in the club, beads of sweat, chiseled bricks on walls, realistically rendered car seats, concrete pores, moles, freckles and more.  My disclaimer here though is when the footage is from an SD source there’s really nothing to write home about here.
  • Depth: Despite the wish washy choice to upscale here depth of field is still prominent as evident in the city streets, rooftops and three-dimensional pop of characters against the backgrounds.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are deep, dark and inky at times depending upon recorded resolution medium.
  • Color Reproduction: In my opinion the colors here do not pop like the movie on the Blu-ray Disc does.  They are mostly dark and depressing.  I feel wrong saying that because most people like the HDR to make it more natural, but this movie thrives on the Blu-ray format with its pumped up, unrestricted vivid coloring.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones do look natural, but they also depend heavily on the lighting and cameras used for particular scenes.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Source noise, source noise and more source noise from the low resolution footage.

Crank (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Lionsgate’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Crank.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: The new Atmos surround audio track is the best thing about this 4K release for me.  It offers the ultimate in directionality and prioritization of the channels following the action and mayhem onscreen despite all the innovative camera techniques.   Like most zany, high octane action films the  soundtrack drives things throughout here.  Thankfully nothing is lost in terms of spoken dialogue.
  • Height: The height channels are pretty active throughout here with examples such as that infamous mobile phone ring, score, heartbeat, soundtrack, car chase through mall, birds, pigeons, gun shots, helicopter, a grenade and more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: There’s also plenty of heft to be had here with the trademark Crank heartbeat, all the wild action, smashing, pounding, vehicle chases and more.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels keeps things engaged with the pumped up and tricked out soundtrack, all the crazy sound effects and ambiance, high octane action, gun shots, explosions, shrapnel and more.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are intelligent and clear for the most part in this 4K presentation.

Crank (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)


In addition to the feature film housed on both the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and 1080p one you also get a redeemable Digital Copy too.  However, that’s not it.  Believe it or not there’s actually two new extras here, which you can find on the 4K Ultra HD Disc.  Surprise, surprise huh?  Boom!  Not so fast.  They say they are new, BUT are they?  NO!  They have been made available on the Blu-ray Disc before.  Grr.  I digress though.  Let’s take a closer look down below at all the extras you’ll find on the 4K Disc.

  • Shooting Crank (HD, 7:10) – This one focuses on shooting the film digitally in HD and the innovative ways in which it was shot.
  • The Stunts of Crank (HD, 17:25) – This one is all about the stunts obviously including Statham hanging from that helicopter over Los Angeles.
  • Pushing Crank (HD, 6:21) – This extra is all about the brilliant marketing techniques used to get the word out about Crank such as the movie posters, viral internet, YouTube stars and more.
  • Crank @ Comic-Con (HD, 11:20) – This 2006 Q&A sees Jason talking about how this one appealed to him because all the action was shot in camera thanks to the innovative shooting techniques.
  • More Stories from Crank (HD, 25:23) – Here we have lots of different random stories from the directors and cast on the making of Crank.

Crank (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)


As I am sitting here finishing this 4K review of Crank up I am still scratching my head wondering this title got a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release.  Did some exec who has no idea about it aside from great standard Blu-ray sales give it a green light?  Is it because Jason Stratham is in a big summer movie this year?  This one gives me hope that possibly Under the Skin could see the light of day on the 4K disc format.  Oh please God!  Therefore, I’m going out on a limb here and I’m only recommending this one to serious fans of the film or like the fellows who visit this page that need every 4K disc title in their collections.  Otherwise, there’s really no reason to upgrade from the superior 1080p Blu-ray version.  And this is coming from one of the biggest Crank fans there are.  I wish I had better news for you, but there is the new Atmos surround track here as well as two new featurettes.  So there’s something!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.  The images used above within the review are not actual 4K screenshots.  They are for illustrative purposes only.  



Brings Its SD Footage To

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

May 21st…




Crank 4K


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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