Crank: High Voltage (2009) Review

Time: 96 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence, sex scenes, drug use and offensive language
Cast:
Jason Statham as Chev Chelios
Amy Smart as Eve Lydon
Clifton Collins, Jr. as El Huron
Efren Ramirez as Venus
Geri Halliwell as Karen Chelios
Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles
Art Hsu as Johnny Vang
Bai Ling as Ria
Reno Wilson as Orlando
David Carradine as Poon Dong
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

After surviving an incredible plunge to near-certain death, Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is abducted by Chinese mobsters. Waking up three months later, Chev finds that his nearly indestructible heart has been replaced with a battery-operated device that requires regular jolts of electricity or it will fail. Chev escapes from his captors, reunites with his lover, Eve (Amy Smart), and sets out on a frantic chase through Los Angeles to get his real heart back.

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The first Crank was an enjoyable over the top action flick, it’s not by any means a great movie (I don’t even know if I’ll call it a good movie) but it was very entertaining for what it was trying to be. The sequel seemed to be something incredibly entertaining, with it being even more over the top than it’s predecessor (I mean Statham literally needs to charge up his heart with electricity this time). While the sequel is even more over the top (as expected), I don’t know if I can call it very entertaining, or even enjoyable at all. It feels forced in the worst possible way and gets very tiring very quickly. Such a step down from the first Crank, and the original film wasn’t even that great, so that’s saying a lot.

While at times the film is entertaining and funny, the jokes and sequences at times feel incredibly forced and random. It almost feels like a bunch of people (who aren’t the creators of the original) tried to do Crank 2 and recapture the original Crank and doing it poorly. The sad thing is that the same people did the sequel. The one thing I can guarantee is that it is absolutely insane, I guarantee you that you will be wondering what is going on at times. To a degree I’ll give credit to them for going all out. Aside from that there’s not much to really like. It goes too far at times with how crazy and offensive it could be, to the point where at times it felt downright unpleasant and painful to watch. Also there was sort of a mid-credits scene that was put into a movie for some reason and I have no idea why. With that said, a pointless mid credits scene is the least of High Voltage’s problems.

Jason Statham is effortless to watch. He definitely threw himself into this movie and had a lot of fun doing a lot of these insane things. He was really of the best part of the whole movie, if not the best part. Everyone else… not so much. Amy Smart has even less to do than in the previous movie and so her performance was even worse. The other supporting actors, I don’t really have much to say about them. Nobody else from the rest of the cast stand out, except that most of them were downright terrible and at times insufferable.

The direction style here returns from the original Crank and it does still work. It feels completely insane and frantic, especially during action sequences. There was a very bizarre visual sequence that involved Statham in a fight in the third act that is so strange that it was actually quite entertaining. I don’t really think that it was the direction of the scenes that was so wrong with this movie, it’s the actual content itself.

I can’t call Crank 2 a good movie at all. Its entertaining at times and seeing Jason Statham doing a bunch of insane and crazy things is fun but that’s it. It is way too forced, downright obnoxious at times and even at points felt a little unpleasant. If you didn’t like the original, you will absolutely hate the sequel. If you liked the original Crank, give High Voltage a shot, but its very possible that you may not like it.

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