Review: ‘Crank 2: High Voltage’

crank2poster2009 has been pretty heavy with blockbusters so far. But when it comes to preposterous action movies, the list begins and ends with Crank 2: High Voltage, the sequel to 2006’s Crank. While this movie may have been pretty ridiculous from start to finish, it was still a fun and entertaining way to spend 85 minutes and $10. There isn’t much to the movie story-wise (it’s no Casablanca), but it certainly did the franchise justice and may not even be the last time we see these characters.

For those not “in the know”, the original Crank was about Jason Statham’s character, Chev Chelios, being injected with a synthetic poison that forced him to keep his adrenaline pumping in order to stay alive. This new film essentially keeps the same premise, but ups the ante by replacing Statham’s heart with an artificial one, and the only way he can stay alive this time is to keep the mechanical heart electrified — by any means necessary. Even for a comic book movie, this premise would seem farfetched. But one of the great things about this film is how it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. This becomes abundantly clear when one of the lines in the movie describes Statham’s character as “the guy from that Transporting movie”.

The movie continues with it’s video game-like action to a point where you feel it could easily be a live-action adaptation of the Grand Theft Auto video game series. Statham defies just about every action movie conceit and would probably make even John McClane cringe. The use of ultra-violence, excessive nudity and more “f*cks” than you can shake a stick at didn’t diminish in this sequel and are, in fact, even more abundant this time around.

Even with all the over-the-top action, violence and nudity, the film does offer a great number of interesting cameos. From Corey Haim to David Carradine, Ginger Spice and John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Q), the movie pulls no punches when it comes pumping up it’s C-List celebrity quotient.

There isn’t really a whole lot to pick apart in this film. It is what it is. I suppose the worst thing you could say about it is that if it were a Troma movie, I wouldn’t have blinked twice. The ridiculousness of Crank 2: High Voltage had the audience both laughing and cringing at the same time but it is a great movie to run out to on a weekday afternoon if you’ve got nothing better to do. Or, if you want to make it an even better experience, after a few drinks.

After all this, where could they possibly go for a third film? Of course, nobody really knows what’s in the minds of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the film’s writers and directors. But if I were throwing out ideas for the next one, may I suggest Crank 3: Diabetes?

Verdict: B+

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