Crank: High Voltage (2009)
★★ / ★★★★
At this point, I can enjoy just about any movie that Jason Statham stars in because even though most of them are mindless, they’re fun to watch. Statham is as charismatic as ever for his return as Chev Chelios, a hitman who gets caught up with gangsters who (literally) stole his heart. In order to survive, he must constantly charge his artificial heart which only lasts for about an hour. Half of the fun about this picture was the lead character trying to look for ways to charge his life force. The film is lewd, crude and downright crazy because even rubbing up against people could create enough electricity for him to survive. However, even I have to admit that I enjoyed this sequel less than the original for a few reasons. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the writers and directors, brought back certain characters from the original only to kill them off almost instantly. When a character did come back and survived, the character was not utilized in such a way that they could push the film forward. Therefore, there were many points in the film when it felt stuck even though the characters were kinetic in purpose and movement. I liked the campiness of the film but there were also times when it was too campy. In fact, there was a scene when it tried to summon Godzilla parodies. As adventurous as it was, it was dead on arrival for me because the violence that was being portrayed on screen was not funny, which was unlike the rest of the movie when everything else was cartoonish. In fact, that fighting sequence should have been quite epic, in my opinion, despite Johnny Vang (Art Hsu) being a simple-minded henchmen, because Statham’s character spent more than half of the film trying to chase him. Other actors that returned were Amy Smart as the girlfriend, Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles, Efren Ramirez as Venus (who played Kaylo in the first), and Keone Young as Don Kim. I enjoyed this film’s enthusiasm to entertain but I ultimately have to give it a mediocre rating because it needed to have more focus instead of just aiming to be all over the place. Even though the first one was crazy, it tried to tell a story. On the other hand, “Crank: High Voltage” just felt like a series of random scenes pasted together which did not make sense as a whole.