a critiQal film review Crank: High Voltage (2009)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Chev Chelios (Statham) faces a Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working.

405 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 1s)
  • ...thanks to some wacky additions this time around, Chev's new adventure tips over into moments of utter absurdity.

After seeing Statham in Transporter 3 (2008) recently, it definitely seemed like a good time to get back to his adrenaline-addicted character Chev Chelios. We were a bit worried however. Would a sequel to the insane Crank (2006) be able to bring us gleefully along for another wild and crazy ride, or would this unplanned sequel not quite live up to it’s predecessor?

Statham again shines as Chev Chelios. He’s changed slightly from the first film. In Crank (2006) he attacked everything in his path with a desperation akin to his utter need for an antidote. This time around he seems to attack with a bit more of a maniacal glee. After the events of the past film, however, this seems like almost a natural progression for the character, and the viewer will again enjoy Chev’s spree of mayhem.

Unfortunately, the setup seems a bit too much like the original to throw anything really new at the viewer. While the hectic pace Chelios sets still is fun to watch – not to mention his single-minded determination to get what he needs – the sequences seem a bit too familiar this time around.

The filmmakers tried to mix things up this time around – and make viewers forget how similar the plot is to the first film – in a vast number of ways. While some of those work (more girl power for co-star Amy Smart, for one), others (a claymation homage to Godzilla, for instance) are just downright odd.

This time around, there also seems to be less emphasis on the humor, and more on the gratuitous sex and violence. Unfortunately, this new focus causes more than one cringe-worthy moment, and a bit too many close-ups of unattractive nudity – not to mention a sex sequence that goes on long past what’s needed.

The returning characters are a kick, and the cameos – including a sex-crazed Lauren Holly – are both surprising and entertaining, but even they can’t help Crank: High Voltage live up to it’s predecessor. While Crank (2006) was able to handle the action-movie-on-crack motif without falling off the deep end, Crank 2 descends a bit too far off the deep end, ending up in so much sheer absurdity the first movie seems so much more plausible.

While it does have it’s moments, Crank: High Voltage comes across as bit of a disappointment, and doesn’t live up to the high bar set by it’s predecessor.

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