Crank: High Voltage

Common decency and intelligence be damned.

By Sean Burns
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 21, 2009

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Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
B

It’s just wrong. Right around the moment Jason Statham shoves a pump-action shotgun up some poor bastard’s asshole, it becomes obvious any notions of logic or taste be damned—Crank: High Voltage’s sole reason for being is to out-gross and gross-out its kicky 2006 predecessor. This sequel is bigger, dumber and even sicker than the charmingly rotgut original, and if that doesn’t sound like such a good idea then this will probably be the longest 96 minutes of your life.

But for those of us with less developed sensibilities, Crank: High Voltage is a riot. It’s a hyperactive, nonsensical romp through the ids of two developmentally stunted young filmmakers (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, annoyingly billed as “Neveldine/Taylor”) who are eager to offend everybody.

As you may recall, Statham’s snarling hitman Chev Chelios was last seen plummeting to his doom at the end of the previous picture. With little more than a raised eyebrow from a local news actor, calling it “a development some may call implausible,” Chelios survives the fall. He’s promptly shoveled off the sidewalk by nasty Triad henchmen, who then steal his heart and transplant it into the body of their ailing leader, Poon Dong (played by David Carradine, back in his full Kung Fu yellowface getup).

Saddled with an artificial ticker that’s got a broken battery, Statham once again busts heads and kicks ass all over the L.A. underworld, attempting to get his heart back while causing untold carnage along the way. Periodically he must recharge with electric shocks—from jumper cables, car cigarette lighters or just the static generated from rubbing his crotch against an old lady.

The movie never slows down long enough for its base stupidity to become much of a problem. Every sequence brings another affront to common decency, whether that’s a shootout at a strip club that leaves silicone spraying in the crossfire, a villain’s severed head kept alive in a fishtank or just a cameo by Corey Haim.

Shot with a ton of cheapo video cameras and spliced together in an amphetamine frenzy, Crank: High Voltage vaults along on crappy attitude and a killer score by Faith No More’s Mike Patton. Neveldine and Taylor’s signature shot finds Statham on fire, giving the finger to the audience. I had a blast, but don’t say you weren’t warned.
 

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