Posted by: Dr P | February 19, 2009

Crank 2: High Voltage

I cannot BELIEVE I wasted 96 minutes of my life on this film (well technically 94 and a bit as I had to go to the loo halfway through – that was probably the highlight).

I actually really like Jason Statham. As action heroes go, he takes no prisoners, he’s Bruce Willis with a dirtier vest, Vin Diesel with slightly meatier pecs, and Sly Stallone with a vocal coach. He’s also undeniably one of those men that women swoon over. He looks nasty, he talks nasty, but there’s a glint in his eye that … hang on, sorry! Focus, Paul. Yeah, I like him, but my god has he signed up for a turkey of a film here.

In short the premise is simple – Statham plays Chev Chelios (which has to be the most stupid name I’ve ever heard for a Brit), a serial nutcase who is captured by some Chinese baddies and has his famed massive heart taken out and replaced with an artificial battery-powered one. His own heart is given to a dying Chinese gang leader in order to prolong his life. You can see where this is going already, can’t you? Chev wakes up to discover he’s attached to a battery and from there on in, it’s mayhem all the way as he looks to find his heart before the artifical one fails.

If it sounds silly so far, believe me it gets worse. Chev is not only up against the Chinese but also some Latino street thugs who are quite nasty. Nasty in that they can’t act, can’t speak properly and just basically suck. Chev’s main allies are a crazy Doc, who seems half cut most of the time, and who hangs around with a black hooker; a cross-dressing Native Indian actor who looks a bit like Tanita Tikaram on a rough day; and Eve, his main squeeze, who is actually rather sexy and also pretty mean with her fists.

The film is basically an hour and a half of set pieces, filled with unbelievable amounts of blood, ridiculous corny dialogue and extreme vulgarity. Now swearing can be pretty funny when it’s done right (“In the Loop”, “Die Hard”, Lynsey Thomas) but here it’s just gratuitous and offensive. I spent much of the film wincing from the language, almost as much as from the acting! There’s even a scene where one baddie has to cut his own nipples off. Can you imagine who ever thought that would be included in a Hollywood flick?

If the main characters weren’t silly enough, there’s also a Chinese hooker who falls for Chev and basically walks around LA cursing and swearing in a semi-amusing manner.

The quite marvellous Stephen Fry once commented on the immensely popular “Da Vinci Code” of Dan Brown as “arse gravy”. If that is Bisto style, then this movie can be similarly described as “arse gravy, Aldi cheapo version”. It is utterly and truly cack.

Oh yes, I missed out one central tenet of the film. Chev’s heart runs on abttery power and as such needs to be constantly recharged. To do this, he basically has to electrocute himself or find some way to get electrical impulses into his body. The ways he does this are hilarious – there’s a few wonderful scenes where he electrocutes himself on high voltage generators, he uses car batteries, a dog training electrical collar (very very funny scene which doesn’t redeem the movie but is worth it to see Statham jerking and quivering as he shocks himself), and there’s even a part where he rubs himself up against people to generate static electricity. The sex scene at the race track is also most amusing.

Please please do not see this movie even if you’re Jason Statham’s biggest fan. I can’t believe that a) he agreed to star in it, b) it got filmed in the first place and c) anyone whatsoever thought this was a good idea.

Crank? Well they got the last 3 letters right …

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