Jason Statham as Chev Chelios in Crank: High Voltage (2009)

Cranked Up

Now I thought that "Crank" was gratuitous yet entertaining but after watching "Crank: High Voltage" "Crank" seems tame in comparison. But I guess that was the intention because all "Crank: High Voltage" is is an excuse to take everything which was gratuitous about "Crank" and turn the dial up on it. That means even more outrageous action, more nudity, more sex scenes, more violence and more snappy editing and crazy camera angles the only thing it doesn't turn the dial up on is story because to be honest there isn't one. Now with my serious head on I should be saying that "Crank: High Voltage" is not good and a poor excuse for excess but it is sort of a guilty pleasure delivering everything which I liked in a movie as a teen and delivering it to excess and to be frank it achieves what it sets out to do.

After falling out from the sky and landing on the asphalt Chev Chelios (Jason Statham - Transporter 3) comes to in a dirty operating room where some even dirtier doctors have taken his heart and replaced it with a battery powered one and are about to harvest his other organs. Realising that he is about to lose his meat and two veg Chev batters the doctors and makes a run for it going after Johnny Vang (Art Hsu) the man who has his heart. But with a battery powered ticker Chev has to keep it powered up by any means necessary be it electric shocks from taser guns to static electricity via sex.

Amy Smart as Eve in Crank: High Voltage (2009)

The opening to "Crank: High Voltage" immediately establishes not only what this movie is but who it is for as we have a computer game and after the initial battle and car chase we see Chev basically power up sort of like you would do in a game. Now if that is your sort of thing, the escapist entertainment of computer games such as "Grand Theft Auto" then this is a movie that you are going to love.

And part of the reason why you will love it is because it doesn't really have a storyline other than Chev trying to get his heart back. That is it and whilst I could say well it imaginatively brings in various characters from the first movie they don't really add much to the story. In fact these characters such as Chev discovering Eve in a pole dancing club are just a lead in to take an element from the original movie and make it more extreme. In the case of Eve that means we have a comically outrageous sex scene at the track which is not only more outrageous but goes on even longer with even more daft elements.

That is the sort of key to what makes "Crank: High Voltage" kind of acceptable as a guilty pleasure because for all the sex, nudity, action and violence it has an element of cartoon daftness about it. With out that element of humour, be it Chev sliding down a railing on his shoes and ending up crushing his nuts as he slips to actually getting a jump start from another driver it would just be excessive. Now for some it will still be excessive and at times even with the humour it takes matters a bit too far especially when it comes to various body parts being sliced off.

As for the acting well crazy comes to mind to describe not only the acting but also the characters. Again everything is turned up so every character is an extreme from Art Hsu as Johnny Vang to a small cameo from Geri Halliwell as Karen Chelios. But of course it is Jason Statham at the centre of all this and he basically carries on where he left of making Chev crazy, comical and dangerous in a perversely likeable way.

What this all boils down to is that technically "Crank: High Voltage" isn't a good movie yet it succeeds in delivering everything which it sets out to do. It means it is a guilty pleasure, a movie of extreme excess which makes you laugh but you kind of feel bad for enjoying it.