Monday, April 27, 2009

Crank: High Voltage (*1/2)

Crank: High Voltage.  85 mins.  R.  Written and Directed by Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor.  Starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Bai Ling, and Dwight Yoakam.

Some movies walk a fine line between depravity and entertainment and stay on the right side (Pulp Fiction), the Crank movies, on the other hand, do the exact opposite.  High Voltage is a strange beast - it takes nothing seriously and purports to be an action movie, but it has almost zero action and is more disgusting comedy than anything else.  Statham plays the unstoppable Chev Chelios, who died at the end of the first Crank, but is back for seconds here.  When his heart is stolen, and replaced with an electronic one that requires constant shocks of electricity to keep pumping. Chelios goes on the run to get back his real heart before the fake one gives up on him.  That's about all there is plot-wise, and the filmmakers couldn't care less.  They shoot the movie in a constant state of fast shutter sports-style camera mode, and never linger on one shot long enough for you to get any real sense of action.  Just when the action is about to start, the movie will cut to a quick cut montage of photographs or an absurd Godzilla-style fight.  There are certain audience members, I'm sure, who will find all this funny, and some of it is in a very rude, crude way (early on, Chelios interrogates a bad guy by lubing up a machine gun and sticking it in the guy's ass), but so much of the movie is, well, unlikeable.  It's about unlikeable people doing unlikeable things, and it's all shot and edited in an in-your-face, unlikeable manner.  Oh, and it's totally misogynistic, and I feel bad for Amy Smart, who should be beyond this type of filth in her career by now.  High Voltage is an extreme visceral ride, but it's all just too, too much.



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