Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crank: High Voltage Review

Crank: High Voltage:
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Released in 2009

Crank: High Voltage is an ugly film. The characters are unappealing, the violence is overly and unnecessarily gritty, the aesthetic is bleak and its content is overall just unpleasant. There is no denying that Crank 2 is not a good movie, even a bad film, in fact. However, it does have some positive aspects that were carried over from its crazy predecessor, though it still doesn't match the balance the first one had between fun and gratuitous material.

Jason Statham, the ever-reliable action hero, is back with his artificially stimulated heart and his quest for revenge. The story is basically nonexistent so no more details need to be given about it. All there is to know is that Chev Chelios (Statham) has a mission and kills many people along the way. He runs into some despicable, lowlife characters throughout, such as Ria (Ling Bai), the prostitute who regards Chev as her "Kurt Russell." His girlfriend (Amy Smart) returns and engages in another public sex scene that is comical and lighthearted despite its content. Even Napolean Dynamite's Pedro (Efren Ramirez) is in this as Chev's gay friend who has "Body Tourettes," causing him to have random, violent spasms. The joke is funny the first time but quickly wears thin, and his character is more of an annoyance than a humorous presence. Overall, the characters in this film are trashy, on-purpose, but that did not do much for me. Some may like its seedy setting and people but I really did not.

The action is highly kinetic, with fast cuts and bright lighting. There are some cool fight scenes that really bring the only worthwhile part to the film but they are usually hit or miss. For example, one scene in a strip club features gun-wielding strippers gunning down gangsters. It is pretty awesome at first but when a stripper's breasts get shot and deflate, you know this movie really is terrible or, for some, the best film of the year. I am definitely part of the former. There are still some fun scenes sprinkled throughout but it really is not worth it.

I guess I just found Crank: High Voltage to be too crude and crazy for its own good. The first film was a good time that I found perfectly acceptable in its content, and its action was very similar to this one. But Crank 2 takes the typical sequel approach when it is assumed that "more is better." In this case, no it is not.

Final Verdict:
2 stars out of 5

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