Statham Drops the Hammer. There's Blood on the Pavement.

By Dustin Rowles | Film | April 17, 2009 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Film | April 17, 2009 |


When I heard that Neveldine/Taylor was doing a sequel to Crank, my first thought was: What the hopping fuck? He fell out of a helicopter at the end of the first movie. How could they plausibly bring Chev Chelios back to life? The answer? There is no plausible way. In fact, implausibility is the Crank franchise's central motif. And thank the Good Lord and Savior for it. High Voltage, like its predecessor, is an hour-and-a-half of hyper-fueled, frenetic preposterousness. It is dumb so massive and full-circle that it runs the bases, trots back out to left field, and boomerangs so violently that it will rip out your cerebral cortex and fuck you with it. And you will ask for more even while you're spitting up blood.

And what of the plot? Who gives a rat's ass? Here's what you need to know: Jason Statham is in it. He runs spectacularly fast, grunts, kicks the shit out of people, and screws Amy Smart in ways you didn't even think were imaginable. On a horse track. During a horse race. In the opening minutes of Crank: High Voltage, Statham dips a shotgun into a bucket of oil and shoves it barrel-deep into a fat man's ass. Indeed, there are enough breasts, bullets, and butts in High Voltage to supply a week's worth of Feebles hijacked "Sesame Street" episodes on the glory of the Letter B. And nothing in Crank 2 makes sense. You will walk out of the theater seven times dumber than when you walked in. And you'll be thankful for it.

High Voltage picks up where Crank left off. Statham is Chev Chelios. He fell from a helicopter, bounced off a car, and landed on the pavement. Still alive, if barely. Given how well he demonstrated the strength of his heart in the first Crank, an old dude's (David Carradine) henchmen decides to scrape him off the street, pull out his heart for transplanting and replace it with an artificial one (while Chelios is still awake), and use the rest of his organs for spare parts. Chelios wakes up three months later, before they can remove his tiny Statham, and wreaks massive hell in an effort to track down the whereabouts of his heart, which he needs to replace the artificial one that's running on a weak, portable battery. To keep himself alive, Chelios has to keep electricity pumping to his heart, which he does by jumper-cabling himself, sticking his finger in a cigarette lighter socket, rubbing up against an elderly lady, and whatever other degenerate act it takes. He's assisted in his quest by his debauched, ass-slapping doctor (Dwight Yoakum), a prostitute (Bai Ling) that thinks that Chelios is his Kevin Costner to her Whitney Houston, and even Kaylo's twin brother, Venus (Efren Ramirez), who has full-body Tourettes, which means he frequently breaks into Electric Boogaloo seizures for no apparent reason. It's awesome.

There's absolutely no pretension to High Voltage. It doesn't want to be anything other than what it is: A series of shitballs retarded action sequences and strippers built around a nonexistent plot with a sole intention of trying to outdo the first Crank. And up until the last few minutes -- when it just devolves into silly, sweat-dream weirdness -- it at least matches the first installment. It is not a great movie, nor is it a movie that would appeal to anything other than your action-flick libido, but it fun. It's moral depravity at its best. And it kicks sweet, sweet ass.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. You can email him or leave a comment below.


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