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1/17/15

CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE - REVIEW


The first Crank movie may have looked, at first glance, like just another run-of-the-mill Jason Statham actioner but it turned out to be something quite different: a high-octane pastiche poking fun at the action genre through a purposely far-fetched concept and an endearing willingness to go all out no matter what logic dictates.

It was fresh, it was new, it was original.

...

Sequel, anyone?

Oh sure you'd have thought that Jason Statham crashing down into a car after falling out of a helicopter would have confirmed the end of that franchise but not so! For one thing, Statham bounced off the car so right there, here's a film with similar rules to those old Road Runner cartoons so anything's possible at this point. Crank 2: High Voltage picks up right where the first movie left off as the Chinese, who are still evil apparently, literally scrape Statham off the ground and proceed to replace his heart with some plastic doodad. Just for the f*** of it. Or, actually, to give it to some old man. Of course, our hero wakes up, kicks some ass and escapes looking surprisingly energetic. The fake heart, it turns out, requires him to constantly "crank-it-up" and go on another non-stop rampage otherwise he'll die. Because that's something he can do.

Unfortunately, the concept's novelty fails to catch fire right away so the film's first half hour mostly feels like a more vulgar and insensitive retread. Dick jokes, annoying Jar Jar-style prostitutes, screwing on a race course, that dude from Linkin Park has a cameo, it's all very uncreative. Luckily, Statham's new sidekick is now suffering from "Full Body Tourettes" and the film builds up to some pretty nifty nonsense moments: there's a living disembodied head in a water tank, David Carradine as an old Chinese man, a brilliant Godzilla-style sequence and Jason Statham, spoilers, bursts  into flames. Crank 2 definitely has its fun aspects and there's still a small dose of genius in there to apprecaite but it is sadly tainted by some crass, borderline racist, homophobic humour and a disappointingly familiar plot.

You could have thrown a lot of unfunny crap out of the script which could and should have been much sharper and, instead of telling essentially the same story again in the same exact way, this should have been more focused on taking the piss out of sequels specifically because, as it stands, this isn't so much a clever pastiche as it is just another silly action movie.

While Crank 2 delivers a handful of worthy titbits, it sadly fails to recapture the magic the first Crank came up with. The pacing is on start-and-stop mode throughout and the genuine lols are too few. Fans of the first film will enjoy part of High Voltage but otherwise, this is probably not worth sitting through.

Then again there IS that head in a fish tank...

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