Crank 2: High Voltage (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/04/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Fast-paced, entertaining sequel with plenty of gags, violence and swearing to keep fans happy, though it's not as snappy or as inventive as the original.

What's it all about?
Crank 2: High Voltage opens with Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) surviving a fall from a helicopter without a parachute. He's promptly scooped up off the street (literally – they use a scoop) and his heart is removed by pesky Triad Johnny Vang (Art Hsu).

When Chev wakes up he's none too pleased to find his “Strawberry Tart” missing, so he sets off on a violence-fuelled rampage to get his heart back. The only problem is he's been fitted with an artificial heart that requires regular jolts of electricity, so he has to keep giving himself electric shocks to stay alive.

The Good
Statham is on top form here, snarling, swearing and shouting like his life depended on it. There's also good work from a bewildering array of supporting characters that includes Amy Smart (reprising both her role and the sex scene from the original film), Bai Ling (as a prostitute who takes a shine to Chelios), Dwight Yoakam (as Doc Miles) and Billy Unger, who appears in an inspired flashback as Young Chev Chelios.

The script contains several funny lines - most of them too crude to repeat here - and there are several delightfully bizarre moments. The trip-hammer pacing also ensures that the action hurtles from violent encounter to outrageous set-up (e.g. Chev having to rub himself up against total strangers to get static electricity charges) and back again without pausing for breath.

The Bad
That said, the film never comes close to matching the invention or the pacing of the original film: for one thing, there are so many supporting characters that Chelios is frequently offscreen for minutes at a time. Secondly, though the electric shock moments are good, there's never any sense of suspense or tension, because the writers don't bother establishing time limits on each charge.

Worth seeing?
Crank 2: High Voltage is still an entertaining sequel but it lacks the spark of the original film and never quite reaches the same delirious heights.

Film Trailer

Crank 2: High Voltage (18)
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Content updated: 17/10/2017 04:55

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