Wednesday, August 22, 2012

'Crank 2': Among the lamest sequels ever?

Crank 2: High Voltage (2009)
Starring: Jason Statham, Bai Ling, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, and Dwight Yoakam
Directors: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Rating: One of Ten Stars

Chev Chelios (Statham) wakes up after three months in a coma to discover that his heart has been stolen. He goes on a rampage across the city in an attempt to retrieve it while using any means necessary to get enough electricity to keep the mechanical heart he's been stuck with functioning.

The original "Crank" was a crazy, ultra-violent film that unfolded like a live-action video game. The sequel is more of the same, but with an emphasis on truly ugly and gory violence and twisted, off-color humor. Both of these were present in the original film, but they have been emphasized even more here.

So, not only is this an ugly film full of ugly violence--such as the loving close-ups of a character cutting off his own nipples--but it lacks the originality of the first film. The humor isn't even as funny, with the filmmakers seeming to think that a Chinese hooker who can barely speak English and characters repeating over and over and over "Fuck You, Chelios!" is the height of hilarity.

I can't even really comment on the acting, since, much like the original, it is secondary to the crazy violence on screen. However, Jason Statham once again gets to do what he is best at--projecting menace, jumping off things, and kicking stunt-men in their faces.

But Statham giving us Basic Statham isn't enough to make this film worth your time. A more pointless and disappointing sequel will be hard to make. If you've had the misfortune of viewing it, I feel your pain.

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