DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Crank: High Voltage - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Chev Chelios needs a vacation, man. Seriously. The man has got to be dead tired. Yet somehow, he is neither dead nor tired. Why is that? Because Chev Chelios is an unstoppable man with some serious issues of his own to work out before his time is up. Despite its initial low-key box office reception and generally mediocre reviews back in 2006 (much like The Bourne Identity), the Crank franchise is back on with Crank: High Voltage. Is it as fun as the original? Hell, yes. In fact, it's better.

Once again written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who both wrote and directed the first installment, Crank: High Voltage is a full-force assault on the senses and the brain; I'm pretty sure this film could cause serious ADHD in even the mellowist of audience members. It knocks you around, drags you through the streets and leaves you broken and busted craving one more go around. Yeah, their filming techniques are that effective - jumpy, intense, and shock-ridden, but totally inspired and different. This 86 minute feature film feels as addictive as a kids commercial for candy except the candy in their commercial is action in action, women in action, and violence in action.

Crank: High VoltageRemember the final few seconds of Crank? The part where Chelios (Jason Statham) hit the ground after falling out of a helicopter? The part when he died? Well, as hinted at by the credits of Crank, he didn't quite die. That's where Crank: High Voltage picks up... seconds later. He is literally scraped off the street, thrown into a van by a Chinese gang, and taken away. They remove his heart in a plan to keep an important member (I'm not giving that guest star away) of their gang alive - and replace it with an electronic temporary one, Chelios wakes up in time to stop them from harvesting his penis, kills them, calls up Doc Miles (a very funny Dwight Yoakam) who tells him to get his heart back so that the good doctor can put it back in him. Agreeing that he doesn't want to die, Chelios chases after the gang who stole his heart, reunites with his girlfriend, Eve (Amy Smart) who is now a pole dancer at a strip club while, at the same time, shocking himself with regular jolts of electricity to keep himself alive so that his artificial heart won't stop. Along the way to getting his heart back, he hooks up with an Asian prostitute named Ria (a hilariously annoying Bai Ling), unites with Venus, the brother of the deceased Kaylo (both parts played by Efren Ramirez), and has an amped up scene of public affection that makes the Chinatown scene in Crank look like kids play.

The incredible Neveldine/Taylor team once again have revved up the stylized action using innovative filming techniques to capture the action with, but this time they allow for a little inspiration to seep through. For example, when the main gang member is finally found by Chelios carrying a red cooler the audience expects a showdown to transpire of classic bravado-like fashion, but instead the audience is treated and I do mean treated to a classic straight-from-Japan- inspired moment of a Godzilla-looking Chelios verses a Mothra-looking version of the bad guy against a model city with fake people looking on. It is hysterical... and awesome to witness in the theatre. It also every bit as fake looking as those Godzilla films still are. I dare any other action franchise to attempt this stunt and pull it off. Maybe with a slight increase of their budget the Neveldine/Taylor machine thought they would throw in a few bonuses this time around, but for whatever rationale behind these fun scenes (there are three) it works in the context of the film and is a blast.

There is another cliffhanger that serves as the film's conclusion, but pay close attention to that firey effect; it is merely a smiling hint (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) at things to come Crank 3-D. Remember, you heard it here first.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
3 Stars
3 Stars
DVD Experience
3 Stars

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; audio commentary; making-of featurette; behind-the-scenes featurette.

Supplements:

Commentary: Feature-length commentary track with directors Neveldine and Taylor

Featurettes:

  • Making of Crank2: High Voltage

Deleted Scenes - bloopers collection

Previews - Original theatrical trailer.

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging with digital copy of the film.

{pgomakase}

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