Crank 2: High Voltage – movie review
If you saw 2006’s Crank, you will most likely recall that the final scene of the film had Jason Statham’s “Chev Chelios” falling from a helicopter over Los Angeles and bouncing off the street below. Without missing a beat, that is the exact same point that the sequel starts from – Chelios has barely enough time to blink before a van of Triads pulls up, shovels him off the road and dumps him in a nearby surgery, whereupon his heart and organs are harvested from his still conscious body.
Unlikely as it may seem, this is probably the most believable and realistic scene in a film that spends the subsequent 100minutes shooting, swearing, f*cking and fighting like some sort of gun-crazed, deranged teenager’s wet dream. Chev’s battery powered artificial heart needs regular juicing whilst he sprints round LA hunting his god-given “strawberry tart” and its captors. This is achieved through various means: car batteries, mains outlets, body friction – the more deranged the better.
To give away many more details would spoil the unbridled joy of being shocked and appalled in the cinema yourself. Quite frankly, this is one of the most extreme, no-holds-barred bouts of cinematic insanity you will experience – certainly this year, possibly ever.
For the record, Statham is clearly having a barrel of fun whilst gently mocking his “Cockernee Hard Man” persona that he has created in Hollywood; most of the rest of the cast seem incapable of genuine acting, other than barking “Fuck You Chev Chelios!” every few minutes before starting a gunfight, car chase, lapdance, or some form of horrific dismemberment. Almost shocking of all, a former Spice Girl randomly shows up to prove that sometimes even English people can’t fake an East End accent.
The film appears to sidestep offending minorities by uniformly insulting absolutely everybody: all women are whores or strippers; all men are sex & drugs crazed gun-toting gangsters.
One real standout star of the film, somewhat surprisingly, is the cinematography. All the camera work was done on cheap, domestic HD cameras, meaning they are disposable enough to get thrown out of windows, alongside cars, under horses and god knows where else, creating some truly dynamic and off kilter shots that more expensive equipment would preclude.
Put simply, if you enjoyed the original Crank, then you will most likely revel in the escalation and amplification of everything that made that film so memorable. If you turned it off in disgust, then this film really is not for you, although I dare say you’ll be missing out on a frenetic orgy of grindhouse shocks and mayhem, the likes of which are extremely rare to find in mainstream cinema.