Thursday, July 30, 2015

CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE (2009)



Written & Directed By: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor 
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost 
Editor: Marc Jakubowicz & Fernando Villena 
Original Score By: Mike Patton 


Cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, David Carradine, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Art Hsu, Keone Young, Joseph Julian Soria, Corey Haim, Bai Ling, Clifton Collins Jr., Efren Ramirez, Reno Wilson, Geri Halliwell, Maynard James Keenan, Chester Bennington, Lloyd Kaufman, Jenna Haze, Lexington Steele, Ron Jeremy, Ed Powers


Chev Chelios survives a fall from the sky, sort of. He's in an unknown location, sedated, while various Chinese are harvesting his organs. His heart is gone, in an ice chest; a temporary in its place. Chev escapes, knowing only the name of the guy with the ice chest. He calls Doc Miles, an unlicensed cardiologist, who tells him there's only an hour's life in the artificial heart: keep it charged. Chev needs to find his own heart and get to Doc for a transplant. He starts his time-limited pursuit of shadowy figures, the ice chest, and his heart aided by Eve, Rei, and Venus - a stripper, a prostitute, and a pal with Tourette's - constantly needing an electric charge to keep going.

While some might consider this a guilty pleasure. I don't I generally enjoy these films. Not ironically I have a good time with these films and their unapologetic nature of including whatever unecessary excess and bad taste they can. I believe the series started as a bad taste action thriller with personality. Now as a surprise hit getting a chance to do it all over again and continue the story the filmmakers take the opportunity to throw everything including the kitchen sink into the film.

As the film respects noting or anyone. These are the filmmakers I wish were making the DEADPOOL feature.

This is one of the rare cases where the sequel is better than the original, but the reason it is better is because of the differences where as the first one was wild and crazy. It still had a glimmer of reality where as this one is bat shit crazy and so way over the top. You can't take anything seriously.

The writer-directors of the original return for the sequel and the noticeable difference in direction other than being willing to go so far over the top is that they seem a lot more confident in their directing. Now this film is a ridiculous popcorn movie that revels in the dirt and muck.

This film explores all the seedy side of life in L.A. From gangsters to porn to drugs; everything. It's almost like a live action version of GRAND THEFT AUTO. It's like watching a video game. That you want to play very badly. It offers every kind of thrill you can think of, it's like a movie made to challenge the rating system and Christian groups by including the most vile things. It can think of sort of like being a homage to most exploitation films. While also being one itself with a comic book worldview. Coloring and violence.

It is like the filmmakers have A.D.D. And the editor took too much Ritalin with them there are so many quick cuts and seperate angles. It's almost like NATURAL BORN KILLERS with a broader sense of humor.

You can't help but admire the audaciousness of the film. That easily can turn off an audience as it revels in bad taste and seem hell bent on offending

This film seems aimed at only the fans of the first film to thank them and give them more of the same but to the extreme.

Not trying to attract converts or new audience members. As it goes way over the top with it's in your face camerawork. You are along the journey with all the characters every step of the way.

Tastelessness reigns in saturated washed out Los Angeles.

With cameos and recurring character appearances.

The film is pulsating with energy that the main character creates.

This is one film where you truly have to check your brain at the door. As nothing approaching believable happens. It almost plays like an action violent R-Rated sex drenched action cartoon. Where every female is a fantasy or just waiting and wanting sex which they seem only around for in this film and get none usually.

For instance In the scene where Chelios runs into a mob of porn stars, the "extras" in the movie are real porn stars. One of the stars most recognizable is Jenna Haze, but Peter North, Lexington Steele, and Ron Jeremy make an appearance as well. Adult film star Ron Jeremy was not originally supposed to be in the porn actors strike in the film. He had assumed that the directors merely forgot to call him and showed up on set. As a result, all of his dialogue was improvised

The film shows no real care or concern for human life even innocent by standers are blown away for comedic purposes overall.

This is the type of brazen film censors and Christian groups fear and picket against feeling it will influence youth and just never needs to be made. It's almost like a grand theft auto type videogane brought to life and while the films morals are dispicable. It is also a lot of fun keeping it's basic premise but throwing all logic and believability to the side.

It's just bananas. A piece of pop art gone wild that is certainly vivid. That I actually think is the Rare sequel that surpasses the original as it seems a natural progression from the original to up the ante and outshock and outside of by being bigger. Giving the audience what it desires as far as fans of the film. Where as the original was bound to a certain degree.

This film runs around like it Just won the lottery . It all over the place throwing itself at anything with no filters.

That makes it a guilty pleasure that brings joy to me at least as it plays. Maybe it's because I don't really play video games and I miss the adrenaline from them and i can get that with this 90 minute burst. You can't control.

Unfortunately One of Corey Haim's final acting roles before his death on March 10, 2010 and also David Carradine's final acting roles before his death on June 3, 2009.

This film is the anthesis of what a sequel is supposed to be and can be. It does continue the story line from the first film, with some of the characters and we get to see how they have evolved or moved along with their lives, before becoming subject to a similar storyline, but totally different in tone and styles. Also similar in content, except here more challenging and in your face.

What is so appealing about this film is that it gives you exactly what you expect from a sequel the the nth degree. As the first one was a high powered thriller that had extremes of ridiculous scenes but worked in an action thriller kind of way. Here the film abandons all sense and while there is a story it takes so many side streets that eventually corn together and get it back on the road. That it seems so scattershot but you don't mind living in this world.

As it never seems to slow down or take a break. It just keeps going on sheer will. It also brings back a lot of characters from the first film. In creative and funny ways. That makes you rethink them or just believe this is part of their journey. --This film takes no prisoners and makes no apologies. While it might seem like it was made up on the spot. I give the film credit for it's nihilistic view. While at times it seems like it was made for the audience who are fans of the series. It also seems to not only be playing by it's own rules, but doesn't care about the audience they are having fun pushing the limit and will raise the stakes of any scene. With any thoughts that come up and also trying to present what might have never been seen on screen before and what is in the worst taste. While it can be insulting I give the film credit for being a studio film and having a rebellious screw you attitude.

It also seems to Confirm or intentionally feed into not only L.A. California criminal black market and underground, but also as a cesspool of corruption and sin. A modern day Sodom & Gammorah that most are jail trying to survive and only the worst of the worse have power In

It ranks as one of my favorite sequels next to ALIENS, THE GODFATHER 2 and THE RAID 2. As like them it raises the bar and almost reinvents the franchise. Being bigger and better but also different and having their own character. That can be viewed without the original though as always watching the original helps. While each film can be a different experience it Themselves.

Jason Statham who is a good likeable leading actor in action in particular, but like Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Walken appears to say yes to anything that pays his price and fits his schedule. Though the difference is that Jackson and Walken tend to play supporting roles and might also be attracted to the bad roles as it is the only time they get to play leads. Either way it sometimes seems to water down their reputation or dependability in the film. Statham still lucked into this franchise as it plays to all of his strengths. He is the ultimate bad ass. No conscience, the ultimate anti-hero, who is like a wicked superhero.

Most of the cast who survived the original is back for the sequel and they all appear to be having fun. This movie is like the main character. Defined by and full of adrenaline. It's high powered energetic, adventurous and sloppy. Full of life and indulgences aplenty. It's like a street version of THE BOURNE IDENTITY.

This seems to be the type of style and films directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor want to make and I can't fault them if they do. They are two of the most exciting commercial filmmakers working and I will eagerly await their next projects as long as they stay true to their vision and audience.

They shot 300 hours of film in 30 days. That is why they have plenty of excess to cut to

This is a must see film. If this was made into a series of films i wouldn't complain.


GRADE: B+

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