Crank: High Voltage is the ultimate guilt trip for an action junkie. Just to state for the record that I had parked my brains at the door and totally enjoyed the very first Crank film when many had condemned it because of its WTF ending, but I thought it did serve its purpose since there were plenty of implausible situations our hero Chev Chelios, played by one of my favourite contemporary action stars, Jason Statham, got put through. Implausibility seems to be the buzzword here as well, being consciously mentioned very early on in a direct continuation from where we left off in its predecessor, 3 months after Chelios ran amok in the city.
Basically the writers-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor had crafted a totally wicked exploitation film in this follow up to Crank, that it single-handedly put the recent Tarantino-Rodriguez Grindhouse movies to shame. They have shifted into higher gear from the first film and went absolutely nuts with the visuals, employing a whole range of tricks and fads just to pump the adrenaline, or electrically charge the camera into one mad rush. Sure it's dizzying for some and certainly not everyone will come to appreciate the madness and the fun that probably went behind the scenes in this action-comedy.
Yes comedy, in the most politically-incorrect manner as possible, some of which may be cheap potshots that stem primarily too from the languages and insults employed. As mentioned this is wicked exploitation at its contemporary finest, with plenty, and I mean plenty of gratuitous nudity, violence, sex, cursings, and gore, with Chev Chelios at either end of dishing out rude punishment, or be at the receiving end of some himself. He's indestructible as we learn from Crank, and Crank 2 continues to play on this, with his heart now ripped out for a triad boss (played by the late David Carradine in thick disguise) and replaced by an artificial one with enough charge so that a secondary operation (involving his wiener) could be performed.
So begins a mad chase for what belongs to him, and being in contacts with old mates like underground doctor Miles (Dwight Yoakam) and his main squeeze Eve Lydon (Amy Smart) who once again strips down and gets it going with Chev in full view of the public. Expect a lot more zaniness thanks to a whole host of one dimensional characters thrown into the thick of things, either as mindless hoodlums to add to the body count, or thrash-talking clingy whores played by Bai Ling who was so unbelievably bad, complete with repetitive moves and near incomprehensible diction, that she was good just for laughs.
For those who think this is offensive, then steer clear. The movie never for a single moment took itself seriously, so neither should you. And the fact that it had some illogical scenes, such as those Ultraman-Godzilla type scene just thrown in out of the blue and so random, reinforces the crazy factor in Crank 2. And the finale no holds barred whack fest by who's who and who's not (trust me, you won't bother too much) left me in stitches just because of the countless exploitative moments the filmmakers have paid their homage to.
Oh, don't head out the doors once the credits start rolling, as there are some incredibly hilarious out-takes which are strategically inserted throughout the end credits roll. Will there be another Crank movie? I'm not sure, but if there is, then I need no open invitation because I'm so there already!