Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: Crank: High Voltage

Grade: C-

Crank: High Voltage starts right where Crank left off, Chev Chellios, played by Jason Statham (The Bank, Job, Death Race), fell out of a helicopter and slammed into the ground. His body is immediately scraped off the ground and tossed in the back of a van by what looks like some gangsters. Then he is in a room on an operating table where some people, who hardly look or act qualified, remove his heart and replace it with an artificial heart. Chev awakes to hear them talking about harvesting his organs for some reason, he then gets up, beats up the “doctors” and escapes from the building. He finds a box on a belt wrapped around his waist that has some lights on it, this box has a wire going to his body. He calls his friend/”doctor”, Doc Miles, Played by Dwight Yoakham, who informs him that it is a battery pack for the artificial heart they put in him and that he needs to keep said battery pack charged to keep the heart beating. Chev then, upon finding out who probably has his heart, goes on a rampage through the city trying to find a gangster with a box that contains his heart. Sounds good, doesn’t quite follow through.

I am a huge fan of the first Crank movie. A glorious, video game style movie about a man who has to keep his adrenaline pumping in order to stay alive long enough to kill the people who injected him with a strong Chinese poison that will stop his heart. The premise of Crank 2, and the fact that they decided to make a Crank 2, got me very excited to see the movie. I was hoping for a movie similar to the first but with a different twist and hoped that they wouldn’t kill the same jokes from the first. What I saw what the film makers trying way too hard to top the first movie that this sequel just comes off as vulgar.

First there is tons and tons of nudity. I couldn’t believe how much nudity there was, every scene had at least 5 naked girls running around. Also the sex, I was shocked that this movie was rated R given the controversy around Kevin Smith’s last movie “Zack and Miri Make A Porno”. That movie was originally rated NC-17 because the MPAA felt it had too much nudity and “thrusting” during the sex scenes, they felt it was just too graphic. But Crank 2 has the tons of nudity, a public sex scene at a horse race track that involved so much thrusting and so many different positions that at times they actually pixilated out certain body parts, on top of all the thrusting. Now, as many people know, I’m no prude, but there’s unnecessary nudity and then there’s this movie which was just so over the top with all of it. Also this movie had a bunch of graphic violence, which again, I’m ok with, but some of it was going just a little too far with how much they showed for a movie like this.

I would like to say that Jason Statham was fantastic in it though. He really is great in action movies and I enjoy just about every movie he’s been in. The funny thing is I was reading an article the other day that described him as the biggest B movie star ever. I disagreed at first but then I thought about the kinds of movies that he tends to be in, Transporter series, Crank, Death Race, which was a remake of a B movie from the 70’s, and a couple others and realized that for the most part it’s true. I’m ok with that because I love ridiculous B movies like those. Amy Smart was very funny as his girlfriend Eve. Dwight Yoakham was great again as Doc Miles, very funny and inappropriate which is great. Efren Ramirez was back as Kaylo’s brother Venus, pretty funny. There were also plenty of cameo appearances from people like Ron Jeremy, Ling Bai (who’s character was nuts), Corey Haim (hilarious character), Geri Halliwell and David Carradine (see if you can figure out who he is). There were several very funny parts, most of which are kind of fantasy type sequences, my favorite might have been a memory, not quite sure.

Crank: High Voltage does have plenty of humor to it and is rather enjoyable at times but overall, in comparison to Crank, is quite a letdown in my opinion. It is absolutely not for everyone as many people will just find it crude, vulgar and offensive. It is a movie basically only for the fans of the first Crank movie. Crank: High Voltage unfortunately just looks like the Writers/Directors of Crank simply tried way too hard to top the first movie.

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