Movie Review: “Crank 2: High Voltage”

A few years ago, I saw Crank, and think of it now (as I did then) as the cinematic equivalent of chugging three Red Bulls and staying up all night playing Grand Theft Auto: a hell of a lot of fun, but high-calorie, dangerous, and bad for you. At the risk of overextending an already-flimsy analogy, this is how I see the sequel Crank 2: High Voltage: like snorting an ounce of cocaine cut with meth and then sprinting across the highway. That is to say: insane, stupid, but ridiculously thrilling.

In this paragraph, I usually talk about the plot. Not this time, though, for one simple reason: I’m not exactly sure what happened. High Voltage has that same insanely fast-paced, no-holds-barred, in-your-face action that Crank had, only magnified by a factor of several million. Enough bloody gunfights, sex scenes, and wild characters flit past to fill two or three full-length movies, all crammed into your brain in an hour and a half. Here’s the “plot” in a nutshell: insane hitman Chev Chelios did not, as rational people might think, die after falling from a helicopter onto a Cadillac. Oh no, he lived on to have his heart removed by surgeons-turned-gangsters (or gangsters-turned-surgeons), and replaced by an artificial pump. Now, he must keep it charged while he runs around kicking ass and doing wild, bizarre things and killing a lot of folks. Here’s the kicker: he charges it by getting shocked. That’s not the only massive suspension of disbelief heaped on the viewer, but it sets a sort of weird tone for the rest of the movie. Crank, at least, could pretend to some kind of plausibility, but High Voltage has stumbled several yards over the line separating “well, it could happen” from “utter bullshit.”

That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the sequel. What little of it I could integrate, that is. If you don’t want to spend the fifteen bucks to see it in theaters, you can replicate its effect rather easily: stare at a rapid strobe light for half an hour with death-metal (I suggest Rammstein) turned up to full blast in the background, and that’s pretty much what it’s like to watch High Voltage. In all seriousness, I would warn all epileptics not to even consider watching this film. The cuts are fast and jittery, and the whole thing is very in-your-face. It has taken me (no joke) almost an hour and a half to even begin to recover from the sensory overload High Voltage caused. Here is where the director lapsed into insanity. High Voltage is so frighteningly intense that, after about half an hour, I couldn’t even make sense of it anymore. My brain could no longer integrate the lightning-quick scenes and surreal segues, and I saw everything through a sort of dizzy tunnel vision. It is not an exaggeration when I say that High Voltage is not a movie meant to be watched by normal humans. If you watched it through twice in succession, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell. Your brain would probably also liquefy, so don’t try it.

All in all, though, High Voltage is a juiced-up high-calorie mind-blowing sexually-charged insanely-intense adrenaline-fueled amphetamine-shot of a movie, and if you’re looking for cheap thrills, you’d probably have to take actual drugs to top the angry spasticity of this movie.

Final Judgment: * * * * * * * * – – (8 / 10)


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