Back in the 1990s British action star Gary Daniels was at the height of his fame. Headlining a string of bland, stunt filled features for PM Entertainment (the B Simpson/Bruckheimer). In 1996 he starred in RAGE, a non-stop action movie with a very "high concept" premise. Injected with a deadly drug an ordinary man becomes a one man army. Hunting down the bad guys, on the run from the cops and trying to get his normal life back - the film was stunt filled madness. 10 years later we have CRANK which is essentially a rehash. Albeit a big budget, MTV-style version. Our hero is still a Brit, the location is once again Los Angeles, but there are gangster movie connotations, wild visuals and a tongue-in-cheek tone (you cannot take the name Chev Chelios seriously and I don't think you're supposed to) which makes this a lively, engaging ride which knocks Daniels' effort for six. The similarities between the two cannot be ignored but this is clearly the superior of the two. RAGE was the prototype, but CRANK takes it to the limit with set-pieces and jokes as silly as they are inventive. In addition there are connotations to films such as Tony Scott's MAN ON FIRE and DOMINO and Brit gangster movies such as Mike Hodges' GET CARTER and Guy Ritchie's LOCK, STOCK and TWO SMOKING BARRELS which add to the thrills and keep us entertained. Much more restrained than CGI-filled, action pantomime that was TRANSPORTER 2, CRANK is Statham's best star vehicle yet. He's a pure physical presence with a maniacal glint in his eyes. There are no Corey Yeun-style martial arts scenes but it doesn't matter. The film is OTT but somehow grounded. The action is rough, fierce. Statham's character is a relentless one man army in classic tradition. Young guys and longtime action movie fans are going to love this for its sheer vigour. With creativity in the genre previously limited to new twists on chases and fight scenes, it's a real pleasure to see films such as CRANK, ONG-BAK and BANLIEUE 13 (District 13) emerging. Not to be taken too seriously, Crank is one of the best popcorn movies of 2006.