Inspired by our favorite dark & twisted graphic novels, CRAZED revolves around vigilante cop Ronan Pierce. He is fueled by a tragic past, and the recent abduction of his wife McKenzie has Ronan’s appetite for vengeance completely unbounded. Relentlessly searching for clues, Ronan systematically unchains his rage on a city full of psychopaths, gangs, corruption and the unrivaled evil-doings of the Luna Cartel. Responsible for both his daughter’s death and his wife’s abduction, the Luna Cartel enslaves thousands of young beautiful women from around the world and harvests organs from all of it’s other victims. Joined by his partner Rex and a young circus clown named Karina, Ronan ‘paints the town red’ in his search for bloody justice.
Revenge is a regular theme in movies. That’s because we can all understand the desire to take revenge on people who’ve wronged us, and hurt like they hurt us. However, we generally don’t give in to those urges. Our understanding of that desire makes it easy enough to sympathize with a protagonist who goes seeking bloody retribution on the people who caused their suffering. There have been films that cover different aspects of revenge. There’s movies that show how stupid and selfish revenge can be, there’s movies that center on how revenge can erode a person’s humanity, and we’ve had movies that were just fun kick ass romps. Crazed is none of those.
Crazed follows the story of detective Ronan Pierce (Kevin McCarthy) in his quest to take down the Luna Cartel. The cartel deals in human trafficking and organ harvesting, and seems to have the run of Harbor City. They killed his daughter and now one of their members, Damien Logan, sends Ronan videos of them torturing his ex-wife. Pierce then goes vigilante and killing his way through the cartel, being helped along the way by his partner and a former circus clown named Karina.
You did not misread that. He’s seriously being helped by a former clown. Even better, she dons make up that makes her look like the strange love child of Eric Draven from the Crow and Harley Quinn from DC Comics.
One of the movie’s several problems starts with its main character. Ronan Pierce is a series of clichés mixed into one character. The name is one example. You just can’t have your vigilante named “Bob” or something. You apparently have to have a cool name like “Ronan Pierce”. You can’t just have your anti-hero using just any kind of gun, he has to use a .44 magnum. Instead of using a non-descript police issued sedan with a souped up engine to tail his leads, Ronan drives a very conspicuous muscle car. I guess you can’t drive just any kind of vehicle when in the middle of a vigilante murder rampage. The cherry on top of the clichés is Pierce speaking in a ridiculous gravelly voice all the time instead of talking like a normal person. Instead of being menacing, it’s unintentionally hilarious.
Another issue is how dumb everyone in the movie appears to be. Instead of killing the main character when they have the chance, the villains tend to let him live so they can torment him more. It’s a decision that doesn’t make sense when he’s disrupting their business and slaughtering thee members left and right. Ronan tends to kills his leads before they can give him information he needs. The best example of how stupid things get is to describe one of the scenes to you.
In one of the action set pieces, Ronan is in a room filled in with armed men. He takes the gun from one of the men and kills a couple more. Instead of taking out the rest of the goons or taking cover, he stops to rip open a huge bag of cocaine, dump its contents on the table, then dips his face into it to take a huge snort while out in the open. Even more unbelievably, the guys just stand there and watch him do it instead of just killing the moron. You can even see an idiot in the background holding an assault rifle just standing there. He doesn’t even aim his gun. Maybe there’s an unspoken drug code of “You don’t kill a bro when he’s in mid-snort.”
The dialogue at times is laughably bad, and the performances aren’t much better. Jordan Elizabeth as Karina does a decent enough job in the limited amount of time she’s in the movie, and an appearance by the legendary Kane Hodder gives us a flash of competent acting. The rest of the performances are either over the top or just flat. How much is do to the actors being bad or poor direction from Michael A. McCarthy is debatable.
While there’s a few gore effects that look decent, they’re brought low by fake blood that looks like dyed water. We’re also occasionally treated to CGI so bad it looks like the film makers used the cheapest and most basic of programs. Some of these shots seemed unnecessary and would have done the movie some justice by being left out.
The ending makes it obvious that everyone involved was hoping to turn Crazed into a franchise. However, poor scripting, poor acting, bad effects, and plot holes galore stops Crazed from being good enough to deserve any kind of follow-up.