Monday, April 20, 2009


Let's see...where to begin? There is no point in "reviewing" Crank: High Voltage (****). You know already if you want to see this type of thing. The plot here is the same as the first one: indestructible hitman Chev Chelios (the awesome Jason Statham) has to keep his heart pumping fast enough to overcome a ridiculous affliction (this time, the removal of his real heart with the replacement of an artificial one that requires electricity to operate). The filmmakers, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, are sadists of the first order. Here's a random checklist of some of the cartoon-like atrocities that are displayed in this gonzo action movie: anal-violation via shotgun; elbow-caps hacked off with machetes; close-quarter machine gun shoot-outs; 10,765 squibbs being detonated; graphic and near pornographic sex scenes; 5,439 exposed female breasts; Godzilla-style beat-downs (in the film's most inspired sequence); casual racism; casual homophobia; casual misogyny; pitch-black humor; this film's got it all! I am able to easily award this amazing piece of trash ****. It knows that it's insane. Everyone involved in the making of it knows that it's insane. It doesn't give a fuck what you think of it; it is what it is and it makes sense on its own terms. Sure, it's nothing more than an R-rated Wile E. Coyote cartoon where nothing makes any logical sense. But the sheer energy and low-tech skill that Neveldine/Taylor bring to the table is simply staggering. Working with the daring cinematographer Brandon Trost, the filmmakers shot this off-the-wall movie with 20, $1000 consumer-grade camcorders, resulting in a Tony Scott-on-a-sheet-of-acid look and feel that will send anyone with any sort spastic disorder into bouts of epileptic shock. Oh, and MAJOR shout-out to Amy Smart, who has again proven herself to be a champ on all fronts. She's basically topless THE ENTIRE FILM, and her racetrack sex scene with Statham is probably one of the longest, funniest, and wildest bits of simulated movie sex ever put on film. Crank: High Voltage is basically Grand Theft Auto: The Movie. Again -- you know before reading this review if you want to see this film. Is it art? Hell no? But is it an unqualified success based on its ambition and what it set out to do? Yes. Big time. Crank: High Voltage isn't something that's going to end up on a top 10 list (though some people might be tempted to do so...), but it's a product of a singular vision, that, no matter how depraved the vision is, is a vision nonetheless.


Joel said...

I secretly love films like this, lol. I'm gonna need to rent this over the summer (which really isn't that far away, and judging by the box-office performance, it'll probably be on DVD by July). So I'm assuming that the phrase "goddamned ass backwards as fuck" is one to describe this (in a good way)?

Actionman said...

Yeah, that's a pretty accurate statement. I am shocked that it did so poorly at the box office considering how big the original became on DVD. It's a cult movie to be sure, but a damn fun one. I can't get the Godzilla-style fight outta my head, and the very last scene is a real doozy.