Every once in awhile a film comes along that changes the rules of the game. More often than not, said film is either panned at first (Blade Runner
) is met with controversy and moral outrage (A Clockwork Orange
) or creeps out of a low-brow genre (Evil Dead
and Crank 2
are similar to the latter example in more than just a few ways. I'd go so far as to say that these movies are the Evil Dead
and Evil Dead 2
(respectively) of our time. Not only do they elevate a somewhat tired genre (the 'Statham'
actioner) to something very new, they do it using guerrilla camera tricks of their own invention and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-anything-goes innovation. They're gonna be the go-to cult hit films that ten years from now will be standard issue discussion points on cult film making.
Not that the plot description will help you a lot here, but basically, after NOT surviving (as near as we could tell) a fall from an airplane at the end of Crank
, Chev Chelios
) is scraped off the pavement by some gangsta' types who hustle him into an operating room. Apparently, the news of his incredible constitution has spread far and wide and a rich codger wants him kept alive so he can start stealing his body parts. The surgeons take out Chelios
's heart and replace it with an electric ticker so they can keep harvesting from him. When he sees that his manhood is next, Chelios
busts out. He's on the run again, this time looking for the man who has his pumper but now, rather than having to keep flush with adrenalin to keep alive, he's got to keep his artificial heart charged with electricity, amping up the nutball concept about 80 gigajoules.
Sounds implausible? Well, duh. Hell, the first chapter of the movie on the DVD is TITLED 'Implausible'
. If you saw the first Crank
, you know that realism wasn't exactly what they were chasing after so much as just a fun comic-booky type hard-R action movie. Crank 2
makes Crank 1
look like a Disney cartoon. There's no question as to the game, and they spell it out for the audience in the first minute or so. This isn't going to be the sort of thing you even have to worry about suspending your disbelief for so much as throwing it entirely out the window. It's a sex and violence fantasy that borrows the style of Japanese films such as "Tetsuo: The Iron Man"
and injects them with cliched-because-its-fun American action hero moments, martial arts and exploitation film plots of the 70s, and a Bugs Bunny
cartoon's set of rules for reality. This is the new version of the genre of exploitation and it makes me want to sit down Robert Rodriguez
and Quentin Tarantino
in front of it and say, "This is how it's done."
Returning from the last film is Amy Smart
, whose public sex scene from Crank
is unbelievably topped here in one of the funniest sex scenes ever set to film. Also back is Efren Ramirez
, this time playing his own twin brother (an exploitation classic move for a sequel) who is a martial arts expert but suffers from 'full-body tourettes'
, and Dwight Yoakum
's pervy doctor friend who gives him advice on how to keep alive. New to 'High Voltage'
is Bai Ling
, who I know everybody with a pulse is grossed out by but she's the ONLY choice here to play the crazy crack whore who keeps following Chelios
around like a puppy. There are some nice cameos by David Carradine
as an ancient Chinese gangster, Corey Haim
as a mulleted loser, and Ron Jeremy
as, well, Ron Jeremy
.Tons more blink and you'll miss 'em cameos abound but the stand-out new actor here is Clifton Collins Jr
as the end game villain who almost steals the show from Statham
. But hell, this is Statham
's show and he plays it loud, fast, and I'll-do-whatever-you-say crazy to a point that I was honestly concerned for the man's health, both mental and physical.
As much fun as the actors are clearing having, the stars of the show here are director/writers Mark Neveldine
and Brian Taylor
. Their 'ghetto' bullet time camera rig they designed, amongst other down-and-dirty tricks designed out of necessity, made for one of the most incredible looking films I've seen in some time. Nothing else really has done what they've done here, down to every last bizarre detail. Even for the score, they got master-madman Mike Patton
to step in and if you're familiar with his work at all, you can just imagine. In fact, Crank 2
is pretty much the movie that's been waiting to get made with his music since he first put out a Mr. Bungle
album in 1986.
I could go on and on AND ON about how much I love this film and how it's gone to the absolute top of my watch and re-watch stack but there's no point. There's every chance that you're going to be one of those types of people who just don't get this sort of thing. Either it's too bizarre or too violent or too sexual or just plain too dumb, you might find fault with it that leaves you mystified as to how I or anyone else could watch this and judge it as anything but bottom of the barrel crap. I pity you. I pity you with all my heart. Crank 2
is something new to the scene and like it or not, it's far from the last we'll see of this new manic style of film making. I for one, couldn't be happier. Cyrus
gives "Crank 2"
, upon five re-watches, a rating particular to these sorts of movies only, one more accurate than the silly "Better than sex"
rating (because...come on). Cyrus
says "Crank 2"
is FULL of FUCK YES
. Put that in your snooty pipe and smoke it, haters.
Click Here to Buy Crank 2: High Voltage