Crank: High Voltage (2009): Breakdown by Kain424
Crank, but with electricity instead of adrenaline. Now with more Asian whores, nudity and gore!
Though many would have thought the idea of making an even crazier film than Crank the very definition of impossible, director duo Neveldine/Taylor were more than willing to do so. And Holy Shit did they succeed.
The levels of violence, racism, nudity, insanity, and absurdity have all been doubled and quadrupled this time around, delivering a film that necessitates checking your cynicism, common sense and most of your dignity at the door. Crank 2 has no morality and barely a shred of decency. And somehow, the video game influences are even more apparent this time around. Surprisingly, this is all part of the fun.
In the first few minutes, when a man shoves a shotgun halfway up another man’s ass, if you haven’t figured out what you’re in store for, then you’re gonna be really surprised by the time Statham’s hooking jumper cables to his nipples and tongue in order to recharge himself. The one-note performances, hyperactive camera tricks (many shots of which are filmed with cheap hand-held cameras), public sex, and graphic violence all meld into one twisted mess, resembling something more akin to a surreal cartoon, sped up, coked-up, and bled upon for our deranged entertainment.
But if that’s not your thing, then I can understand. The movie showcases a veritable freakshow of “what the fuck” moments, including a scene of a man cutting off his own nipples, the lead singer from TOOL shocking Jason Statham with a dog collar, Lauren Holly telling a guy to go out and “hit a titty bar”, and yet the movie still manages to throw in a Ralph Macchio reference.
This is a film where Corey Haim shows up as a mullet-wearing douchebag and Bai Ling runs about re-enacting that Vietnamese hooker’s bit from Full Metal Jacket. There are no safe bets here, outside the single-minded nature of whatever it is Statham seems to be doing. Namely, killing people. So sit back, try not to get offended, and enjoy the hell out of what just might be the most insane Action movie ever made.
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Jason Statham is Chev “Jesus H.” Chelios
“The sickest, most wickedest motherfucker that ever vaporized a motherfucker in cold blood.”
Statham goes on to show us that he may be the bravest Action actor currently working. His character may be grossly one-dimensional, but Statham seems to understand just how wacky everything happening around him is and fully embraces it. The result is an intense and vastly fun performance ranging from chaotic and violent to goofy but still exhilarating.
Chelios, in this installment, is the illogical continuation of the character from the last film. He fell from a helicopter and somehow survived, with not a broken bone on him. We do get to find out that he was a little hellion as a child, but it doesn’t go much further into his life motivations this time around. With very little characterization, we are left with the man’s actions to explain him. But since doing so would spoil the fun, I’m simply going to recommend you watch the damn thing.
[THE BODY COUNT: 41]
Along with the violence levels, the bodycount has also multiplied this time around. The innocent and the guilty are equally slain in this one, with full on gun battles in strip clubs, limousines, and mansion compounds. It’s an 80s Action film on angel dust.
Most of the deaths are baddies, with Statham killing 21 of them himself.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]
I included the ass-kicking to this one because my personal favorite was when a character with Full Body Tourettes beats the shit out of another guy with his spasms. What other movie does that?
As for the most satisfying death, I’ll go with the final villain from the first film again. When you get there, you’ll see what I mean. And yes, it’s supposed to be the same guy.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Okay, so it’s the brother of the character from the last film. Still, he steals most of the gay for the movie. Again. Not that the constant barrage of shirtless thugs and the scenes featuring Jason Statham rubbing skin on skin with the lead singer for Linkin Park aren’t gay, but this guy takes the cake.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Just kidding! Crank 2 takes off even farther from its not-so-humble roots and pushes the envelope into the darkest depths the genre will allow. From strippers and scantly clad women to actual pornstars and even more public sex, this flick seems to have been encouraged by the excess of its predecessor.
With the sole exception of a lone female cop, the women of Crank 2 are once again used primarily as objects of entertainment. The abuse of said women goes further than one would think these film makers would dare. We get Asian skanks run over in the street, fake breasts shot up and deflated, and old women being molested.
Amy Smart gamely returns as Statham’s stripper girlfriend. She enjoys yet another round of public sex before being hosed away like a humping dog. Yeah, she gets to beat the hell out of Corey Haim (something I’ve wanted to do for twenty years), but I’m not sure if it’s really a trade off.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
This is one of those films with too many great moments to choose just one. I mean, there’s a friggin’ Godzilla fight in the middle of the movie! But seeing as this is the format we chose, I’m going to say that ONE of my favorite moments was seeing David Carradine show up in the movie as an ancient Chinese man. Totally out there.
Chelios gets in a couple of quick hits on some cops that have surrounded him and his girlfriend before his power runs low and he drops to his knees. The cops move in for their own beatdown, with an unnamed pig growling this winner:
“Oh, it’s on now!”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
If you get a second chance, kill even more people.
[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[ ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[ ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
Crank High Voltage (2009) © Lionsgate and Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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