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Crank 2: High Voltage review

Warning: This movie is not for everyone. But if you like super-fast paced deranged insanity, you’ll love this.

Take one part OTT Japanese action flick (think Takeshi Miike), mix in some 70’s exploitation and Grindhouse, throw in a dash of 80’s hard guy, and add a pinch of visceral blood and guts. Only then will you have some idea of how balls to the wall crazy Crank 2 is! Crank was tame by comparison.

Chev Chelios – played by Jason Statham who simply inhabits the role – drops from an aeroplane and lands, destroys, and bounces off a car (the very end of the first Crank). From that he has his heart removed by some Chinese organ-thieves and is in a race against to time to get it back. In the meantime, he has an artificial heart which needs constant supplies of electricity to keep it going. That’s the gimmick in this film – like Crank, where needed constant adrenalin to keep a poison from killing him. Cue Chev getting his shocks from high voltage power lines, an ambulance defibrilator, a car battery, a police stun gun, and even body-on-body friction in one memorable (if long) scene where he has hardcore sex in the middle of a horse racing track!

Along the way Chev bumps into a crack whore played by Bai Ling, a man suffering from “full body tourettes”, and many bad guys – mostly Chinese but there is one puerto rican group out to get him too. He ends up in a brothel, and a porn actors strike (spot Ron Jeremy), all the while getting his electric jolts. Helped by his doctor (Dwight Yoakam) who dispenses medical advice Chev must eventually find the 100 year old chinese Triad boss Poon Dong – played by David Carradine of all people – who has stolen his heart.

The fast cutting and camera work in this film will not suit those of a sensitive nature, and that’s before we get to the sex and brutality. But it delivers the goods for those who like this kind of thing. It’s unadalturated fun for it’s audience and it doesn’t make any move to even attempt to appeal to anyone else. It knows what kind of film it is and doesn’t care or pretend to be otherwise. That’s good.

There are some asides during the movie, such as a flashback to Chev’s childhood interview on a daytime TV show (think Jerry Springer). Here, is Mother is even played by Geri Halliwell. Then there’s a scene where he fights his opponent in giant form like a Japanese monster movie. He even, not long from the start, oils up a shotgun and sticks it up a mans backside while threatening him!

Statham knows his audience and plays up to it. This is in some ways similar to his Transporter franchise, but any action fans of those movies might be advised to watch Crank first to see what they’re getting into to. The writer/directors Neveldine and Taylor have aimed this purely at the video-game playing ADHD generation. Don’t bother trying to base this in any concept of reality.

I don’t know if there’ll be a Crank 3, I guess it depends on the takings from this one, but I hope there is. The ending is vague on this matter but considering how Crank finished there’s every possibility.

Rating: 8.5/10 – astonishing amount of insane depravity!

IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes