Crank: High Voltage was released in 2009; it was written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, and stars Jason Statham and Amy Smart. This sequel marks the return of Chev Chelios from a fall of…….well, mathematically speaking the tallest building in LA is 1100 feet tall and he was in a helicopter way above that, somehow, so really, really high. Miraculously Chelios survived but the Triad has taken his heart and replaced it with an artficial one. If he doesn’t find his real heart in an hour he will die but when has that ever stopped Chev Chelios? never.
This movie is uhhhh…. it’s uhh, I….. umm… it’s crazy to say the least. Personally I love this movie because it is completely off the wall with it’s action, plot and out-of-nowhere cutscenes. Crank: High Voltage is a Grindhouse type of movie and is filmed like a comic book come to life on the big screen. If I’m being honest, Crank 2 would be the perfect film for a character like Deadpool. Chev Chelios is similar to Deadpool in many ways such as he is a killer for hire, seemingly indestructible, ladies love him, and he is full of snarky one-liners. Deadpool does have more personality and a penchant for breaking the 4th wall but those factors only lend to my argument. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch Deadpool, then watch Crank 2 and tell me this movie wasn’t made for his character. But I digress, let me continue with the insanity that is Crank: High Voltage.
When this movie came out I went to see it in theaters and I will never forget the confusion on the faces of everyone watching, including myself. I’m assuming we all saw Crank and while a bit goofy in parts, it was most certainly not this. About ten to fifteen minutes into the movie Chelios needs to get his artificial heart racing with electricity in order not to die. So, he asks a couple guys to give him a jump from their car and attaches the jumper cables to his tongue and nipple to start-up his heart. I busted out laughing, by myself, and accepted that this was not going to be your average action, thriller, crime movie. Again, this was only the first ten to fifteen minutes of Crank 2 and that scene in particular was tame compared to later on in the movie. Reflecting back on my experience, I don’t think anyone else in the theater enjoyed this cinematic masterpiece the way I did. There was some forced laughter throughout the film but only because I was laughing so loud that it was infectious. Unfortunately when you can’t go more than five minutes without laughing during a movie people tend to look at you as “that asshole that won’t shut-up” and I was that guy. In my defense, I understood Crank: High Voltage was an action-comedy and should be viewed as such but they may have been taking their viewing experience more serious than me. Personally I don’t understand why when there were so, so, so, so, sooooooo many scenes to indicate how unseriously… umm… not seriously?…. you know what I mean…. this movie should have been taken. But it would explain the “wtf did I just watch?” look on everyone’s face.
Let’s talk about Chev’s sidekick with full body tourettes….(I wish you guys knew how difficult it is for me not to break out laughing while typing this because this shit was ridiculous). Ok, so his sort of sidekick Venus who happens to be the twin brother of Kaylo that helped Chev in the first Crank. Venus shows up on a bike to save Chev from the cops who could have and probably should have shot both of them in the 30 seconds they stood around to watch the two escape right in front of them. After escaping, Venus reveals who he is and that he has full body tourettes; then he has an episode on the motorcycle. I probably shouldn’t have found it so funny because his condition is obviously thrown in for cheap laughs but I couldn’t help myself. Did I mention that Venus is a member of a gay biker gang called the L.A. Underground? They come into play later during the final act with one of the strangest shootouts I have ever had the pleasure to watch.
Most of the movie is spent with Chev chasing down Johnny Vang for his heart and that leads to fights in a whorehouse and strip club. Also, sex on a horse racing track with his girlfriend Eve because the friction will keep his heart going? I understand why that scene made sense in the first Crank because he needed adrenaline to keep his heart going but not here. The only reason this scene takes place in the sequel is to show a horse penis it seems. Yes, a horse penis is shown in semi slow motion as one of the horses races over the couple having sex. Was that moment necessary to the plot? Not at all but when making a movie where you have let go of the steering wheel and throw caution to the wind, anything goes. Besides, all the running around and shenanigans leads to an epic showdown between Vang and Chelios.
When I said in the beginning that this movie was crazy, that was an understatement. There is a full on Godzilla style fight scene between Chev and Johnny as the two become giants and fight each other. Obviously it’s meant as a parody of those classic Godzilla movies but it is hilarious.
I forgot to bring up Poon Dong and El Huron, one has his heart and the other wants him dead. David Carradine and Clifton Collins jr. put on great performances as extremely racist caricatures of Chinese and Mexican villains respectively. In fact there are many stereotypical or racist characters in Crank 2 but I don’t find any of it offensive though some viewers may. With something this absurd, I find it difficult to get upset about anything going on.
The soundtrack composed by Mike Patton is perfect for this insanity driven adventure into madness called a movie. Now I’m not saying this is Hans Zimmer or John Williams but Patton’s score works well for the frenetic pacing of the movie.
That’s all I can give you without completely ruining the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen Crank: High Voltage. If you have never seen this before I implore you to watch this movie just to expand your movie viewing pallet. For those of you who have seen this already, please do yourself a favor and watch it again.
Come back next weekend when I will be rewinding the drug induced nightmare known as Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas; you’re in for a treat. Later Days!