Crank 2: High Voltage

2017 May 16
by John

Crank 2: High Voltage carries on from the masterpiece that was the first Crank film, in which Chev Chelios, a cockney in Los Angeles who fell twenty thousand feet from the sky without a parachute and survived, has his heart stolen by a Triad leader and is given a temporary electric heart as a replacement. He has to keep the heart charged, so every few minutes he has to electrocute himself while he finds his original heart.

Picture 2Before I saw the first Crank film, it sounded like my idea of hell because on first glance, it appears to be the kind of film that’s made to keep fat, stupid Americans happy – car chases, gratuitous violence, shootouts, extended shots of breasts, Jason Statham, the usual stuff – but imagine my surprise when I discovered it’s actually a work of genius. Because it is absolutely not meant to be taken the least bit seriously – it looks more like a video game than a film, and it’s genuinely very funny. It’s easy to turn your nose up at films like Crank and assume it’s brainless, but if you can get past that and see that its inherent brainlessness is ultimately part of its charm, you’re really in for a treat. It’s very difficult to tell whether Crank or Crank 2 is taking the piss or not, but whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it exorbitantly well.

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll see if you go to see Crank 2:

- Jason Statham calling two homosexual gentlemen a “pair of sausage Nigels” before demanding they electrocute him with an electric dog collar
- Jason Statham shooting a stripper in the tits so her implants leak
- Jason Statham being electrocuted in the balls
- Jason Statham kicking a severed head (that is being kept alive in a water tank with a bunch of wires) into the sea
- Jason Statham beating somebody up and then making out with a hooker while he is on fire

The sequence of events reads like an excited fourteen year old boy has been asked to describe what his idea of the perfect film would be – “and then, and then, he’s on fire and he beats up everyone and his skull is showing and he gives the audience the middle finger and it’s AWESOME” – and the best part about it is, they went out and made it. They found funding and made a film where Jason Statham beats people up while on fire. I dread to think what it cost to make, but whatever it cost, it was worth it, because – and this is not something I can say about many films – I was not bored. From the minute the film started to the second the door was left wide open for another sequel and the credits rolled, I was as entertained as it is possible for one human to be. Crank should be funded by the UN, because I don’t think I’ve ever felt better about the world than when I was watching Crank 2. Just knowing that I live in a world where films like this are not just imagined, but made and shown internationally with pride, suddenly made everything okay. There’s a lot of bad things in the world, things that really make you wonder if there’s such a thing as justice and “the greater good”. Then you realize that a couple of hundred people were employed for a large portion of last year for the specific purpose of making a film like Crank 2, and suddenly everything’s fine.

There are plenty of franchises that should never have been made in the first place, some that make one too many sequels, and some that so grossly outstay their welcome that they begin to have their post delivered to your house, but I sincerely hope to whatever deity may exist that Crank is the new Rocky. I hope they never, ever stop making Crank films – even when Statham’s in his eighties I want them to wheel his ass out of the retirement home and have him run around Los Angeles, having sex with people on racetracks and punching people in the dick for no reason. Crank 2 is amazing and you should definitely go and see it.

Crank 2: High Voltage is currently showing at the Odeon. Go and see it.

John Tucker