Pros: Jason Statham does what he does best; High Voltage action with dashes of humor-and-sex.
Cons: Contrived. Over the top. Absolutely sequel proof...oh, wait, Crank2: High Voltage? Really?
Crank (2006) Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
" I'm going to get that little f*cker if it's the last thing I do.....It may actually be the last thing I do." Chev Chelios
The premise of this movie is very simple. Chev Chelios is a gangster who gets in trouble with another gangster, Verona. Verona knocks him out, and leaves a video. When Chev wakes up and watches the disc that is when our movie starts.
Verona injected Chev with a Chinese poison that binds to the red blood cells and slowly shuts down the body. Verona has killed him; he just wants time to gloat..
Chev is not the kind of man to go gently into that good night. He determines to kill Verona and his own boss, who sanctioned his actions.
The effects of the drug are held at bay by adrenaline. If Chev can keep his heart racing, he may be able to stay alive long enough to kill his murderer.
That's the plot. There is a romantic subplot; Chev's girlfriend Eve thinks he's a video game designer. Now seems like it might be the time to come clean.
Everything else is just trip hammer speed action. Chev uses every trick and resource he has to 1.) Locate Verona, 2.) Confirm that the Don hung him out to dry, and 3.) Keep his pulse racing. Pain, ephedrine, epinephrine, nose spray and sex, he uses them all. Rage helps.
The action is face paced. Statham does all his own stunts, which is awesome. And they are awesome. And his acting is, as always, quite good. However, I have a problem with this movie. It is gratuitous. Gratuitous action, gratuitous violence, and most especially gratuitous sex.
There is no substance. I find that limiting, not crippling; action movies have their place. This one just seems more...contrived than most.
And it does deliver the action. There are few movies that move at this pace. For bullets wounds, defenestrations, car crashes, and lost limbs per hour, this movie is definitely a leader. Add in the things he does to keep his heart rate up, and it really moves up the action ratings.
But somehow, this time, it seems the action is not quite enough. Normally, I find the thought of Jason Statham in a hot and steamy scene appealing. However, his performance in Chinatown struck me as way over the top. However, watching him run the marathon in a hospital gown, that was funny.
Just understand what you are getting into with this movie. It's gory, violent and a bit smutty. And all just a little bit too far.
Jason Statham ... Chev Chelios
Amy Smart ... Eve
Jose Pablo Cantillo ... Verona
Efren Ramirez ... Kaylo
Dwight Yoakam ... Doc Miles
Carlos Sanz ... Carlito
Reno Wilson ... Orlando
Edi Gathegi ... Haitian Cabbie
Glenn Howerton ... Hospital Doctor
Jay Xcala ... Alex
Keone Young ... Don Kim
Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use. And trust me, definitely not for kids.
When I first wrote this, a while back, I thought to myself, well, this is one that you don't have to worry about a sequel. There is no way in heck they could make a sequel. There has been no movie since Highlander less well suited to a sequel....
HA! Crank 2: High Voltage will hit the theaters April 17, 2009. And yes, it is Chev Chelios and not his twin. Yes. Chev.