You know how most action sequels have a tendency to trump the original in terms of blood, bullets and boobs? Well CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE does it in spades and considering the insanity of the first it’s a wonder Neveldine/Taylor were able to get away with half of it. The “wtf” factor is cranked up to eleven and it barely feels like a pinky was lifted in order to accomplish it.
CRANK 2 picks up right where the first left off where a group of Asian men scoop Chelios off the ground to an operating room where his heart is removed and replaced with some sort of electric artificial heart that requires constant charge to keep Chelios moving. When he wakes up he goes off in search of the man that stole his heart while taking out anyone in his way and finding as many different ways as possible to keep his artificial heart beating including jumper cables on his nipple and tongue, then of course- more public sex.
This film takes the crazy frenetic action from the first and injects its ideas with a boatload of steroids. The violence is in greater frequency, the weird character moments are there in spades and even stranger dialogue is on display- and it’s all just as fun and hilarious this time around if not more so. There are moments where I just wish I could tap into the mindset of Neveldine/Taylor so I could get a glimpse of the thought process for some of the scenes in this movie. There’s moments ranging from something as small as a pornstar picket line, sex in the middle of a horse race but actually on the course and then in an exercise of true madness- a Godzilla like battle in the middle of an electrical station. I’d say the constant barrage of strange occurrences hurt the film if there were any way to really take it seriously.
On the other hand, sometimes while craziness for craziness sake is fun, it also becomes a bit grating and overwhelming at times. There’s hardly a moment to sit and take in some of the crazy gags which provides a high octane piece of entertainment but one that’s hard to really get connect with on any specific level. That’s actually part of the point though- a film you just sit, watch and get a kick out of and on that level it’s pretty tough to sit here and offer any kind of serious interpretation of CRANK 2’s merits or agendas to life and film in general.
It’s true that CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE is essentially more of what CRANK had to offer except this time the craziness comes with a special kind of insanity that feels like it was a collage of ideas pulled straight from the mind of hundreds of folks bouncing off white padded walls- and I mean that as a compliment. There’s no real way to tell someone they should see this or skip it because both realities are true in any given situation. Those who do check it out are bound to leave with a distinct impression- though it’s largely going to tip the scales at either adoration for something so balls-to-the-wall or hatred for something so gratuitous and offensive. Either way CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE for me was a shot of life that I had a lot of fun with that I would only recommend to people I trust that would understand its insanity.