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The Insanity Went Somewhere

Movie title: Crank 2: High Voltage (2009)
Spoilers: No

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Two boys were walking home from school arguing over who was the toughest. The one said to the other, “You're not tough! You've never been in a fight in your life!” The other said, “I have too!” The one replied, “Have not!” The other replied again, “Yes, I have, and I would have won too, but she hit back with her crutches!”

Words I have often found to be poor conductors of shock value. Shock value is created when something arrives that you just couldn’t see coming (our short little parable of the two boys is perhaps a rather poor example). The ride of life ends up with us monkeys getting taken to new heights and new depths. Just when you think you've seen it all, you get blown out of the water again. When that happens, it's usually bad rather than good. It's taken me a while, but I've learned to get use to such rollercoaster rides and, believe it or not, take pleasure in being dumbfounded by them.

Crank 2: High Voltage, starring Jason Statham as Chev Chelios and Amy Smart as Eve Lydon, is a continuation of the original Crank (2006) and is…how should I put this…shock value stretched thin, pompous perversity on parole, a renegade bad boy that makes nearly all other boundary pushers that came before it look like grade school hall monitors.

Chev, himself a criminal, is marked for death and sure to die—he should have died, anyway. But when a mob boss needs a new heart, Chev goes from street pizza to the operating table for his much-wanted blood pump, which is replaced with an electronic device that requires frequent recharging.

The now literally heartless Chelios is on a mission to get his heart back. Along the way, he'll meet some old friends and some old enemies, and some low-life crap-sacks who practically beg for butt-kickings (and they’ll get what's coming to them, I assure you).

Ladies and gentlemen, please leave the room so I can present to the rest of you a film so boundary crossing, so outrageous that the “F you!” it gives to the world is not metaphorical, but literal. This thunderous thrill-ride of irksome idiocy and disgust violates sensitivities on an almost criminal level. Nothing is sacred and no one gets an ounce of dignity. Dead Asians get referred to as “chicken and broccoli,” and then there's this little perk: “Did someone drop some change, or did I hear a chink?” Lovely.

Has Statham no shame? He read the script. He knew what he was getting into. He knew he would be having sex – private parts nearly completely exposed in the air – in public and on a racetrack during a race, with entire families and their innocent eyes looking on. He knew it and the guy chose to proceed anyway. This Crank surpasses the first in disgust and deplorableness ten times over. If the production crew had a language, the words “embarrassment,” “blush,” and “shame” would not be in it.

Only here can you find solace in seeing old ladies groped at horseracing events. Only in this jewel do hot female counselors say to their patients: “Have some smelly snatch rubbed in your face.” Your sweet Catholic grandmother will definitely love that, and the talk about flossing with pubes. And if you love camera close-ups of women puking, blood and guts splattering, silicone breast implants leaking through bullet holes to the chest, and loud, attitude-y prostitutes who refuse to do anal, then what are you waiting for? Stop reading this review and see it now!

Belittled with un-believe-ability and soiled with sin, Statham's latest tough guy flick has nearly as bad of fight scenes as a mid-90s low budget-er and twice as much IQ-lowering stupidity—surpassed only by its sheer darkening depravity.

You, my friend, get the honor of seeing Statham charge up and fight, commandeering car batteries and chasing ambulances to get to the defibrillator for a quick boost. Don’t think getting juice off of getting tased by the police is beyond him. Grabbing live power lines? He’s game for that too, all the while kicking rear ends scummier than the pool at a Section 8 apartment complex in February.

But...(you heard it coming)...when I was not in mouth-wide-open shock at this ghetto-fied glorification of all that is unholy, I was laughing in uncontrollable outbursts, accompanied by the question of why I was so snappily entertained by the drek on screen.

Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor did a brilliant job of breathing life – in a sensibility-rending way – into a go-nowhere film. It went somewhere after all, but nowhere that the rational, decent, or mature side of your mind would dare go. Love it or hate it, this is pure insanity.

(JH)

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Grade: C- (2 stars)
Rated: R
Summation: A man fights to get back his heart that was removed by the mob and replaced by an electric heart.
Directors: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Starring: Jason Statham “Chev Chelios,” Amy Smart “Eve Lydon,” Dwight Yoakam “Doc Miles,” Efren Ramirez “Venus,” Julanne Chidi Hill “Dark Chocolate,” Reno Wilson “Orlando,” Keone Young “Don Kim”
Genre: Action / Comedy / Crime

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