Crank 2 Review

Thanks for checking out our Crank 2 review (yeah, we know it’s officially called Crank: High Voltage, but we all know it’s Crank 2). If you’d like to check out our Crank 2 review video, you can see it at the bottom of the written review.

It’s no secret I love Crank. To me, Crank is the living embodiment of the phrase “There are films, and there are movies”. There are artistic expression films with meaning and depth… films that are trying to say or express something. Then there are movies. Popcorn, turn your brain off and just have some fun for 90 minutes movies. Both are valid. Both can be great and both can be horrible. Crank is a MOVIE, and one that I had enormous fun with. So it was with great excitement that I heard they would indeed be going back to proverbial well to do Crank 2.

I finally had a chance to see Crank 2 today… and although it has some weaknesses (some of them pretty big which I’ll address in a moment) it in no way disappointed me, and I walked out of the theater giggling with a big smile on my face.

THE GENERAL IDEA

The synopsis for Crank 2 reads something like this: “Chelios faces a Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working.” Pretty straight forward huh?

THE GOOD

This movie is insane. Neveldine and Taylor (the writers and directors of Crank and Crank 2) said from the outset that the movie would pick up at the exact moment where the first Crank ended. They weren’t kidding. The movie starts with it’s foot on the floor and it just never takes it off. The first Crank movie started off fairly normal and just got more and more insane as it went. Instead of going back to normal again, they correctly pick up the same pace and just keep it going until this film ends. Pure ridiculous fun. Chev Chelios evolves from just another movie hitman character into a mythological creature. He’s now more like Friday the 13th’s Jason than anything else. Nothing can stop him. Nothing can kill him. Nothing can slow him down… and I ate it up.

If you’re going to do a film this ludicrous, you can’t even pretend to take yourself seriously. The best way to offset that is humor, and Crank 2 has some great humor that had me giggling a lot through the film. Bai Ling was far more funny than I thought she’d be (I’ll be honest, I thought she’s be a hinderance to the movie, but she actually ended up adding to it)

You’ve probably seen the pictures online, so this isn’t spoiling anything for you, but there is a sequence in the film where Chev is hit with a massive dose of power while fighting a guy and it causes him to sort of hallucinate. His hallucination is HILARIOUS. I don’t want to say any more than that out of fear of spoiling it for you.

Seeing Corey Haim return to the big screen was funny and he did a very solid job playing Amy Smart’s new boyfriend (Amy has thought Chev has been dead for 3 months). You’ll never even realize it’s him at first, but then it becomes obvious, and he was great.

Some of the shots and cinematography in the movie are just fantastic and very unique. Neveldine and Taylor shot this film in a very raw guerilla style and it suits the film very well (with some exceptions which I’ll expand on in the “bad” part of the review). It’s crazy, it’s disjointed, it’s chaotic… just like Chev’s adventure itself. It was extremely fun to watch on that level.

Much has been made (at least by me) of the fact that Crank 2 was shot almost entirely on the consumer level camera, the Canon XH-A1 on standard mini-dv tape. IT WORKED WONDERFULLY!!!! Using $3000 camera instead of $300,000 cameras, that were small, light and rugged opened up tons of shooting possibilities that the filmmakers took full advantage of.

I love Jason Statham. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: Statham was born to play Chev Chelios, and Chev Chelios was born to be played by Statham. Statham is just great in this flick.

THE BAD

Now before you go thinking that I thought Crank 2 was the greatest thing since sliced bread, I did have several issues with it. First and foremost is a pet peeve of mine for several films… SHAKY GOD DAMN CAMERA DURING ACTION SCENES. Don’t get be wrong, there is a difference between hand held camera (which is just fine when used right, like Crank 2 does most of the time) and shaky camera. There is a difference between a camera moving a little, and a camera jolting all over the place like it’s being operated by a chicken having a severe seizure to the point that you as the audience member have no bloody idea what the hell is supposed to be going on up on the screen. A couple of potentially fantastic action sequences in Crank 2 were completely ruined for me because of this. Most of the action sequences were totally fine, but a couple of them were nothing but random blurs of incomprehensible images and noises. Really a shame.

One of the things that gives Crank its unique identity is the style of editing. It works… for the most part. But in Crank 2 I found several spots irritated me because of the excessive random jump edits and supers that felt more like a visual collage of a 3rd grader doing show and tell. Again, 90% of great, but there is that 10% that bothered me… a lot.

There was a wasted segment in the film that dealt with Chev’s childhood that I thought was just completely wasted screen time. Not funny, had nothing to do with the story nor did it add to anything going on… it just dragged us out of the action. I can understand how it seemed like a funny thought at the time, but it shouldn’t have been left in the film.

OVERALL

Crank 2 is a fun, insane and extremely over the top amusement park ride for the senses that I believe, if you go into it with the right mindset, you’ll absolutely have a great time with. But be warned, like its predecessor this movie is NOT for everyone. Even as just an insane ride there are some glaring weakness and problems that could have been easily avoided, but for me, they did not distract from the pure enjoyment of the ride too much. Overall I give Crank 2 (aka Crank: High Voltage) a 7.5 out of 10.

YOU CAN SEE THE VIDEO VERSION OF OUR CRANK 2 REVIEW HERE:

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39 thoughts on “Crank 2 Review

  1. This movie was awesome! This is entertainment at the fullest. Completely different from anything out there and will keep you engaged beginning to end, at least if you have any sense of humor and sense of adventure. Not for the faint at heart, Just remember to take breaths throughout. If you didn’t like this movie then you just don’t get it and I’m talkin about just don’t get it in general, but it’s all good..

  2. Talk about representing hyper masculinity. This film is a perfect example of why men have false body images. It reinforced the idea that in order to be tough, you have to go to crazy extremes. We wonder why the size of G.I. Joe has increased over the years????

  3. Absolute. Complete. GARBAGE. I enjoyed the 1st Crank – this one was just stupid. A complete waste of time.

    I probably need to give it a little time – but right now I’m thinking this could possibly be the WORST movie I have ever seen. Seriously.

  4. Thanks for a great review, John. I’m with you 100% on your opinion on Statham and shaky cams!

    It took me a while to be cognizant of the fact that so much of what we take away from movies was already there in our brains when we went in. Just because I go see it just for the action doesn’t make me a fool. The Cranks, more than anything else I can think of right now, are the epitome of the popcorn flick!

  5. if any 1 enjoyed this film then they need a check up from the neck up, its utter nonsense random as hell, cant believe statham agreed to filming this crap. it should be called rank not crank..

  6. this movie is waste of time. pure insenity, pornographic,very trashy,left the theater after watching it for 15 minutes. total garbage!!!

  7. I’m interested in seeing it purely for the reason that they shot the entire thing on prosumer HDV cameras. Of course it’s not going to blow up to screen and look like a $45,000 arri camera and film, but for a 20 mill budget, they saved all the money for the action. Just like to see if the digression in picture quality hurt the overall film, considering what it is.

  8. Overall, I thought the first one was better than the second one, because it at least had more of a story to it and it wasn’t trying too hard to be over the top. With that said, I thought crank 2 was awesome and funny as hell. I enjoyed every part of the movie except the ending, the talk show segment (totally pointless), and the puppet fight (what the hell was that all about?). At least the first one tried to be semi serious. I’ll watch this movie again simply because I really enjoyed it.

  9. Ridiculously stupid movie on the level of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but mostly completely entertaining.

    I won’t watch it twice, but I can admit I enjoyed it. If you must choose though, go with Observe and Report first. That was awesome.

    Also, I felt the ending was pretty lame, especially compared to the rest of the movie. It suddenly turned all daytime soap opera no us.

  10. such an amazing film, saw it last nyt, just insanely awesome, nothing like it out there, puts multi million pound action snooze fests to shame

  11. a 7.5, John? Really? Give me a break. This movie sucks and everyone involved in it should be embarrassed. It’s totally flopping, too, just like it should.

  12. Worst movie I’ve ever seen. Cheap cameras used didn’t help. It looked like a high school drama video. Save your money for the summer line up.

  13. I really thought the first Crank was absolutely horrible…I was reminded (because of the fast pace of the film) of a much better movie called “Run, Lola, Run” which is a German film released about 11 years ago.

    1. RLR was a work of art. Crank isn’t even in the same ballpark. That said, I loved Crank 1/2; both filled rediculously stupid with nonsensical violence and cheesy dialog that you have to just go with and accept the Cs for what they are: IQ reducing nirvana. Two thumbs up from my side.

  14. It’s only horrible if you take it seriously, and to the people that went, how many people were in the theater? I’m only expecting a 13 M opening

  15. dont know yet, as stated in other comments i wasnt a huge fan of the 1st for some reason, and this sounds like more of the same. guess its a rental…glad to see dudes going low budget

  16. Worth every penny. Parts were so over-the-top that I couldn’t believe my eyes. The entire theatre was gasping, moaning, groaning, and laughing their arses off in complete unison. Great follow-up to part one!

  17. Just say it today and compeletely agree. Crank 2 is purely a MOVIE and if you try to take it seriously, good luck. Oh yea and the scene where they’re fighting in the elctric area and they’re like big freakin puppets… that was dam weird

  18. Agreed, I don’t like the shaky cam too much. Peter Berg is a director I know of who uses alot of handheld shots in his films and the shaky cam with zoom ins are pretty much in every scene.

  19. THE BIRTH OF THE SHAKY-CAM

    At a meeting somewhere in Hollywood:

    Producer: “Mr. Director we have a problem, we are out of money. After spending all the money on fight scene choreographers we don’t have any money to spend on camera men. About all we will be able to do with the current budget is use semi-trained deformed chickens with a long history of having seizures.”

    Director: “We’ll take them, I can make that work.”

    Producer: “But how, people will see the poor camera work and walk out.”

    Director: “No, just claim that it is to ‘make you feel as if you are there’ and nobody will even notice.”

    Producer: “It’s brilliant!”

    1. They wanted the camera to be like that thus the reason they went out and bought a $3,000. Crank2 is everything the directors wanted Crank to be. they pretty much, tried, redefined this style of filming, and it suites Crank well! IMO

  20. what do you mean thie first one is one the craziest movies i have ever seen unrealisticly. Think about the last scene where hes falling for like 5 minutes on the phone, you ever tryed walking outside when its windy talking on your cell phone?

  21. Kristina: Yes and no, there are a few characters in the first one that are in this one. That’s the “yes” part, The “No” part is basically you won’t be lost, since this one is kind of a different storyline as far as Chev’s heart goes, you’ll be fine if you see this first

  22. I didn’t really like the script, but hopefully the movie will be good. I loved the first Crank, but this one seemed too over the top

  23. Great review John. I’ll make sure to check it out this weekend. Loved the first Crank, so I don’t doubt this one will be tons of funs.

    In terms of enjoyment, I’m curious whether you enjoyed the first or second one more in terms of insanity and action.

    Also, waiting for the video. :D

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