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Crank 2 - High Voltage (DVD)

Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart and a granny in a cardigan made of synthetic fibres.

Rated: 18.

Story: Chev Chelios wakes up from a coma to discover his heart has been stolen and replaced by an artificial one. He sets out on a rampage of destruction to get the original back before his batteries run out. Along the way, he finds every daft method possible to give himself a quick recharge.

Mmmmmmm... Friction.

Comments: Despite all its gore and violence, the original Crank was actually quite a thoughtful metaphor on hedonism and the transitory nature of life. Coupled with non-stop action, this made it rather good. At the end, however, I was disappointed to discover that it left absolutely no room for a sequel. Then again, upon thinking about it, I realised a sequel would entirely undermine the very nature of Crank. It's simply a headlong thrill ride towards death without time to pause or think, poking fun at the ultimate emptiness of a life of self-gratification.

Of course, it's also possible that the whole thing was just an excuse for a frantic sequence of fights and chases...

It doesn't matter, though. Either way, the ending of Crash is as emphatic as Titanic or Hamlet - pretty much everyone is dead. Any sequel was always going to be something of a stretch.

Enter High Voltage.

Oh dear. After Chev gets better from being dead in the first five minutes, the writers simply know no shame. The rest really is merely an excuse for a frantic sequence of fights and chases, tied together by coincidence and attempts to shock (sometimes in the eletrical sense, sometimes in the 'Eugh!' sense). It's like they put together a focus group of sixteen-year-old boys and asked them what they wanted. It probably says something that easily the funniest joke involves a guy with Full Body Tourettes.

The action isn't even that great. The pace helps keep it all relatively diverting but there's nothing very spectacular.

The only conceivable reason anyone thought creating Crank 2 was a good idea was to make a fast buck off the success of the original. The one consolation is that the movie is mercifully short, stopping pretty much randomly at the point the makers got bored.

Conclusion: Like a reel of scenes deleted from the original for being too daft and puerile.

Explosions: Occasional.
Strippers and hookers: Everywhere.
Mutilation: Unpleasant.
Violence: Extreme.
Foul-mouthed old lady: One.
Happy sixteen-year-olds: Probably many.

Rating: 2/5.


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