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DVD Review: Crank 2 – High Voltage

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In 2006 Crank premiered. It followed a hit man, Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), in Los Angeles who is poisoned. In order to stay alive, must keep his adrenaline pumping. During the film he causes massive destruction, takes on the police, gets into fights with gangsters, has sex in public with his on again/off again girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), and is given direction on what to do to keep the adrenaline flowing from Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam). The film ends with Chev falling out of a plane with no parachute and hitting the pavement. You would think that was the end of the story, but in 2009, Crank 2: High Voltage was released.

The movie starts seconds after the first film ends and has Chev taken away by Asian gangsters who perform surgery on him. When Chev finally wakes up, he learns they’ve taken his heart and replaced it with an artificial one. So now Chev must go and get his heart back, while keeping the battery pack charged. He needs to do so by creating friction: he does so by using jumper cables on his nipples, grabbing high voltage boxes, using a stun collar for dogs and, just so we can have Eve naked (even though it was a body double for Amy Smart), has sex in public again.

The movie’s look is a cross between a video game and the exploitation flicks of the 1970s. Crank 2 is a high octane adventure with Chev once again going after mobsters, taking on the police, and getting back with Eve (who thought Chev was dead since by the time he has recovered it’s about three months later). The movie is just fun — you can sit back, relax, and watch Statham as Chelios beat the hell out of anyone and everyone while he comes up with some offbeat ways to keep his artificial ticker pumping.

The extras for Crank 2: High Voltage include a commentary with Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor who wrote and directed the film. The duo are very self-deprecating and mock themselves while talking about making the film, tell behind the scenes stories, and talk about some difficulties with actress Bai Ling during the shoot. They loved making this film and they didn’t set out to do a “high concept” film, but High Voltage is fun to watch and the duo achieved what they set out to accomplish. For those who enjoyed the first two films, there will be third installment slated to come out in 2011 which should be another fun romp.

There’s also a behind the scenes featurette which has interviews with the cast and crew and they talk about how much fun they had shooting the film. “Crank 2 Take 2” is the name for the gag reel which also points out various cast and crew members who had minor parts throughout the film.

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