Crank 2 – High Voltage Review: The Duracell Funny
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like my art-house, thought-provoking pieces – storytelling grounded in realism but ultimately expressing itself through lofty ideals and subtle subtexts.
But, at the end of the day, I have a very strong pre-pubescent streak pulsating through my veins that reacts just as gleefully to baseline titillation as the next 8 year old.
Case in point, Crank. A frenetic, pulsating action-gasm that gave new meaning to the term ‘adrenalised’ and solidified Jason Statham’s Hollywood positioning as ‘that cockney geezer who can nail goons as well as laughs.’ Ridiculousness personified, watching the original felt like the cinema usher had crushed a magic mushroom or 7 into the popcorn mix when you weren’t looking.
But how do you top one of cinema’s most brainless, stupid and – lest it be forgotten – profitable films of the 21st century? Take a cue from a Daft Punk song, that’s how: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.
Oh, and don’t forget ‘stoopider’.
With a plot that makes Lesbian Vampire Killers look like Dostoevsky’s lost manuscript, the ‘I can see why you learnt kung-fu’-named Chev Chelios is swiftly shovelled off the tarmac after the events of Crank’s bonkers climax, which saw him swan dive face first from a helicopter into a parked car. Before your eyes are even half-way through their obligatory roll, Chev’s been fitted with an artificial, electrically powered heart and he’s up and running with all the charge of a buggered Duracell Bunny.
So, in order to survive and reclaim his actual heart (nicked, as you do, by those pesky triads), Chev is forced to ‘shoot up’ with any manner of electrical charge nearby: police tasers, electrical dog collars, jump-starting his nipples, frotting OAPs. The usual.
In this increasingly energy-efficient world, Powergen could learn a thing or two.
Thankfully, High Voltage knows what it is and never attempts to be anything more. From its tagline (“He was dead. He got better”) to its frenetic cuts and cartoon-y stylings, it’s obvious this is much more of a comedy than an action flick.
Exploding boobs, Whitney Houston obsessed Thai hookers, full body tourettes and the greatest faux Godzilla fight since Arrested Development are just some of the brilliantly bonkers things your brain will desperately attempt to register and cling onto in 90 minutes of trippy, relentlessly OTT craziness.
Sure, there’s a couple of clunky moments (the schoolboy-level racism and excessive boobage guaranteed to get Daily Mail Readers readying their picket signs in 3…2…1…), but with a scatter-shot succession of sketch-show style action scenes, High Voltage’s ADHD pace ensures you’re already distracted by something dumb, entertaining and surreally ‘what the huh?!’ before you have time to really form a negative opinion.
Crazy, outlandish and bizarre but almost always entertaining, High Voltage is the electric shock to the balls the action genre deserves.