With Crank: High Voltage hitting DVD and Bluray this week, I thought I would share my thoughts on the movie. Keep in mind this is actually a review I wrote months ago with some slight editing so it may not be up to the high standard I set for my material now. I’m just kidding, there’s no standard. This will be as slapped together as anything I write now so there won’t be a problem!
The first movie I saw when I moved to go to college (for the second time) was Crank. Therefore it was all too fitting that as soon as I finished my last day of my final year, I headed straight over to the theatre to watch the sequel. I have to believe that the guys who make these movies actually planned that. This entire movie was built around me being able to watch it once college was done, so thanks Crank guys! It was such a fitting bookend to school.
I loved the first movie and was pretty damn excited for this one. I fully embraced the stupid premise, which many people don't seem capable of doing. Even the movie itself acknowledges how stupid it is, so you can't fault them too much. But of course Crank High Voltage is not the movie you go and see for deep plot and characters, you go to see it in order to watch 90 minutes of really f--ked up stuff. This one delivers that in spades.
I've stated time and time again that I will watch just about anything Jason Statham does. The man is infinitely watchable and can kick an ass like nobody's business. The problem is that most of the movies he's in are not that good. For every Crank, Bank Job or Transporter 1 and 2, there is a handful of crap such In the Name of the King, War, and Transporter 3. He usually ends up being the best part because he always seems to put in the effort, even when the movie may not really deserve it. He completely commits to Crank 2. He has to do a ton of ridiculous stuff in this movie but he really throws himself into it and it adds so much to the movie. He really does become a live action cartoon.
The supporting cast is good here. Amy Smart seems to get more to do here and as with Statham, she really gives her all in the role and even gets to beat the shit out of Corey Haim, something most of us will only ever get to dream about. Also is it just me or does she seem to get more and more attractive as time goes on? It’s a bit of a bizarre phenomenon. The villains are a little underdeveloped but I can let that slide. You pretty much just want to see Statham catch them and kill them so the movie can be forgiven if they aren’t the most three dimensional characters out there.
Some of the most fun here is all of the cameos that show up in this movie. None of them are huge stars, but more recognizable faces. The trailers have sadly given away a lot of them but there are still some fun ones in there that I'm not going to spoil here. The utter randomness of some of them makes for some big ole smiles.
Crank High Voltage really embraces the whole idea that these movies are just live action video games. The score often sounds like something you might hear in an old 8-bit video game. There is even a sequence near the beginning where Statham keeps killing people and upgrading his weapon that absolutely has a video game feel to it. Each time he gets a new one it plays a little bit of triumphant music too. Later when he loses a crucial item it makes a sound similar to when Pac-Man dies. It's goofy, but fun.
That pretty much describes the whole movie. It does take things about 10 steps further than the first movie. You really never know just what the hell is going to come next. There is one part I thought was perhaps even a little too much for this movie, and this is also the point where a couple of people walked out of the theatre where I saw it. For the most part though I had a lot of with this movie. It's random, fun, and really never does let up. The term "non-stop action" is thrown around a lot these days but in this case it's very, very true.
I can really see how this movie would divide people. I tried watching it with my fiancée who gave up about a half hour in. Anyone who liked the first SHOULD like this one. Anyone who didn't, or has no clue what Crank is, stay far, far away.