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DVD Review: Crank 2: High Voltage
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Crank 2: High Voltage DVDCrank 2: High Voltage
Directed by Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Clifton Collins Jr., Bai Ling, Efren Ramirez
Lionsgate

Crank, the Red Bull and crystal meth-fueled 2006 action epic, became a minor classic of its time but failed to connect with moviegoers despite the presence of rising celluloid badass Jason Statham in the lead role of unstoppable contract killer Chev Chelios. It wasn’t until the movie hit DVD the next year that it began to find its audience. The sales must have been strong because they were more than enough for Crank‘s distributor Lionsgate to approach the movie’s writer/director team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor for a sequel. The problem is that the finale of Crank found Chelios dropped from a helicopter over Los Angeles and fought his nemesis to the bitter end. Then he became a street pancake. The end, or so we initially thought. Hey this is Hollywood baby, and in this land of cocaine wishes and Vicodin dreams anything’s possible, even surviving a plummet to the earth from 30,000 feet. And with that in mind, Neveldine/Taylor gives us Crank 2: High Voltage, as boldly over-the-top as a sequel can possibly be.

On our last episode of Crank Chelios was injected with a special Chinese poison by his enemy Verona and in order to keep from kicking the bucket before he could take his revenge Chev had to keep his heart pumping. After a day-long battle that spanned almost all of the City of Angels Chev finally exacted a bloody and satisfying vengeance upon his archnemesis, and then he died. Crank 2 picks up immediately where the original left off with a group of Chinese gangsters scooping the dead Chelios off the asphalt with a snow shovel and spiriting him away to a brothel/makeshift hospital where his powerful heart is surgically removed and placed in the hands of spastic Triad thug Johnny Vang (Art Hsu). In the place of his “strawberry tart” (Chev’s words) the surgeons place an artificial heart that runs on internal and external batteries. They also plot to harvest certain other body parts precious to our hero. Drawing the line at losing his dick Chev wakes up, kills his way out of Triad hands, and contacts his friend Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam) who explains to our intrepid anti-hero that he must keep the heart running with electricity or else he’ll die.

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