Crank 2: High Voltage Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

Crank 2: High Voltage Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor
Everything Crank does, Crank2 does stupider. After falling 3,000 feet from a helicopter, indestructible contract killer Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) wakes up to find his hard-pumping heart removed and replaced with a battery-powered substitute. Following its predecessor, Crank 2: High Voltage creates tension by demanding that Chelios jolt his bum ticker every couple of minutes. But instead of using meth, coke and Red Bull as his toxins of choice, Chevy now must refresh himself with jumper cables, tazers and static electricity. It's a funny gag but it ultimately deflates what made the original so fun. Crank worked because it assumed that by the end of the film Chelios would be dead, thus absolving him from the swath of violence he cut across Los Angeles. Because Crank 2 begins with the premise that Chelios can somehow survive a fall from a helicopter, there's no reason to believe that anything else can stop him. Though obviously intending to up their ante, Neveldine and Taylor's want to exponentially amplify the violence, sex and flash cuts just makes the movie stupid. Amy Smart and Dwight Yokham are back as Chev's girlfriend and greasy medical consultant, respectively, but even these once grounded foils are tricked-out for the sequel. Smart goes from the cute girl-next-door to a head-butting, bird-flipping stripper and Yokham's Doc Miles threatens to "choke a bitch." Even the old ladies cuss. It's that old paradox: if everything is badass, then nothing is badass. There's enough hyperkinetic violence and in-jokes for fans of the original (Ricky Verona quite literally pops his head in late in the film) to keep you entertained for 95 minutes but Crank 2 is too gimmicky and moronic to be deemed a successful follow-up to the already gimmicky and moronic (but fun) original. DVD features? None, save a trailer. (Maple)