Friday, August 28, 2009
New Movie Show Review: CRANK 2 High Voltage (2009)
Crank 2 was a hilarious blast. Keep in mind I am not the biggest fan of the modern action movie (the 80's action film will forever have my heart) Most of these newer breeds of action are completely brainless and their aesthetic seems only to beat you over the head with nonsense action that is so badly choreographed you can't seem to make out anything that actually happened (Michael Bay being the master of this technique)
What this film does seems entirely fresh from it's peers. The filmmakers take the extra step from going "Over the top" as fun films like SHOOT 'EM UP and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD did in recent years and actually go over the ledge. It's a film that is so confident in what it is, that it's only pretense is to dare to take a movie in this increasingly overbaked genre to a place it hasn't gone before.
I have not seen CRANK 1, but the set-up was simple. A man has mere minutes before he expires to basically find those responsible for poisoning him. Along the way he finds he needs to boost his adrenaline levels to slow down the poisoning process. That movie ends with him falling to his death.
CRANK 2 begins with Statham being literally shoveled off the ground and thrown into a van. His heart is harvested and replaced with a battery operated gizmo and he is once again thrust into a situation where he needs to find those responsible. This time he needs to be electrically charged and the movie comes up with some hilarious set-pieces as he's all over Los Angeles getting volts put through him whichever way he can (various low and high voltage sources, friction from rubbing up against old ladies and having hot nasty sex with Amy Smart in front of thousands being some choice examples)
Not only is this setup outlandish and fun, but the movie throws in a wacky array of supporting characters that amp up the insanity. Bai Ling, Efren Ramirez (Pedro from NAPOLEON DYNAMITE), Dwight Yoakam, Julanne Chidi Hill as "Dark Chocolate", Clifton Collins Jr. and the late David Carradine show up to either help or give our protagonist much grief. The plotting and zany band of misfits reminding me greatly of John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. If to recall that great action movie was their intention, Directors Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor really pull it off.
The scene that has Jason Statham and adversary turn into King King and Godzilla-like concoctions is worth the price alone. This is the most derivative yet original action movie I've seen in a long, long time. The DVD streets on September 8th. Check it out!
And yes... That is Corey Haim!