Crank: High Voltage – Why Did I Like It?

Hey g1’s, how is life going? It’s been almost 2 months since my last blog and I’ve been failing at ideas for writing anything, so I thought, “Why not just post a review for the last movie I saw?” Well, I happened to catch Crank 2 tonight, so let’s go with that.

Now, I am not a fan of Jason Statham. I find the man intolerable. He may have physicality, but he doesn’t really match the quality of any real kung fu actors (like Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung or Yuen Biao). His pairing with Jet Li in a few movies just made me wish that Jet would see how far he has fallen.

So what did I expect going into Crank: High Voltage? Mindless garbage, to sum it up in a few words. I did not see the first one and the last Statham film I saw was “The One,” which actually made me cry a little (I’m sorry for you Jet). You’d be surprised to learn that I actually enjoyed Crank 2.

The plot in this film is as mindless as an action film can get. I think it is a continuation of the first, but I have no real clue. What I do know is that Statham falls out of a plane and practically dies. While being resuscitated at the hospital, his heart is harvested and his other organs are looked at for the same reason. Statham soon busts out of the hospital and proceeds to go on a rampage looking for his heart.

The whole movie revolves around the idea that Statham has had his heart replaced with an artificial one that acts like a battery. The heart has some stupidly complicated name (and a video that describes what it does) or the sake of being idiotic. It also has an external pack that keeps the thing charged, but when that pack is removed the user is given an hour of battery life from an internal battery.

That is your entire film in a nutshell. While Statham is looking for the man who took his heart, he has to keep himself charged. This allows for all kinds of madness to ensue and it certainly does.

Like I said before, Statham busts out of the hospital where he is being kept. The action choreography is a little stale, but everything is shot in a manner that makes you think the editors have ADD. The camera shakes, the scenes cut quickly and the particularly brutal points of combat are given plenty of screen real-estate.

What makes this action better is how the film directly starts. The movie begins with a screen that looks like an 80’s arcade machine. There is a lifebar and everything, which makes this film feel like a video game. The area immediately after Statham departs from the hospital looks like something out of Mirror’s Edge and Rainbow Six, making you feel like you truly are watching a game.

Most of the action consists of gunplay, however, so if you are looking for straight up kung fu or martial arts, skip this without second thought. The shaky cam effect can be tiresome, but the movie runs at about 86 minutes, so everything just goes flows like electricity (oh snap, a pun!).

There is a lot of comedy that occurs throughout the film, mostly from how little the film tries to take itself seriously. There is blatant racism to almost everyone on the screen, a scene where Statham “gets busy” or almost a full 5 minutes and one fight scene later in the movie that makes me think of Godzilla.

As for the acting in this film, what can you really say about most action films? Statham is alright and certainly has charisma. His face is menacing and he seems to be having fun, which definitely works as a plus for this film. Amy Smart, who plays the girlfriend/stripper of Statham is pretty decent as well. She does get to lay a guy out and into a car, so her antics aren’t unnoticed.

The rest of the cast kind of just exists. No one is really given ample screen time except for Bai Ling, who plays an Asian hooker that is played up in a racist tone. Her lines are subtitled just for the hell of it. Efren Ramirez gets a little bit of fun with some syndrome called “Full Body Tourettes.” David Carradine even makes an appearance as some old asian player, which is just offensive on every level.

That is the glory with this movie though; it is just plain fun. If you cannot crack a smile while watching this film, then I do not know what to tell you. This certainly isn’t art-house theater, nor is it even a B movie, but you cannot deny the sheer energy and flair going on.

For my final verdict on the movie, I say give it a shot. The worst that can happen is that you’ll die a little inside from the sheer stupidity of everything, but just go in looking for fun. I certainly hate Statham, so me enjoying something like this is a big plus.

Rating: 6.8/10

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