I almost can't believe this, but "Crank:
High Voltage"--the sequel to the 2006 flick
"Crank"--is three or four times more insane than the first film.
It's more violent, even more hopped up on speed, it has more random
naked breast shots, and completely implausible.
Why, then, was I having so much fun watching
Jason Statham reprises his role as Los
Angeles hitman Chev Chelios, who was falling out of a helicopter the
last time we saw him, on his way to the pavement. Somehow,
Chev opens this sequel near death, and then he gets picked up by
Triad members, has his heart traded out for a mechanical substitute,
and then juiced back to the present. After breaking out of the
Triad's makeshift hospital, Chev kills his way through mobsters,
Triad members, cops, Latino criminals and a wide array of whores to
get his heart back.
Completely, totally ridiculous. As it
introduces itself as being completely and totally ridiculous, I fell
along for the ride; Statham just has this energy, mixed with an
over-the-top film production, that makes "Crank: High Voltage" a
thrill ride. It is not a great thrill ride, but it IS a thrill
ride. A soundtrack that is drum-and-bass fast; editing that
constantly made me move my head to not get dizzy ("Cloverfield"
times 22); there is so much blood, sex and gunplay in this film that
the constant profanity didn't even occur to me. The action
scenes are a little better here than they were in the first "Crank";
there were nasty scenes in that first film but they are even nastier
here (like the punishment sequence for the Latino gang leader that
loses Chev during a shootout). There are a lot of throwaway
scenes, though, and the film is generally useless unless it's
Statham on the run.
As a movie that gets you fired up before a
long night out, "Crank: High Voltage" works. It's just okay
overall, and as far from a date movie as possible, but that
shouldn't stop you from taking this in on a Saturday night before
hitting the town.
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard