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Crank 2: High Voltage(2009)
Hitman Chev Chelios is kidnapped by a mysterious Chinese mobster. Three months later, he wakes up to discover his nearly indestructible heart has been surgically removed and replaced with a battery-operated ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity in order to work. After a dangerous escape from his captors, Chev is on the run again, this time from the charismatic Mexican gang boss El Huron and the Chinese Triads, headed by the dangerous 100 year-old elder Poon Dong. Once again turning to Doc Miles for medical advice, receiving help from his friend Kaylo's twin brother Venus, and re-connecting with his girlfriend Eve, who is no longer in the dark about what he does for a living, Chev is determined to get his real heart back and wreak vengeance on whoever stole it, embarking on an electrifying chase through Los Angeles where anything goes to stay alive.
For more about Crank 2: High Voltage and the Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray release, see Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 24, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Clifton Collins, Jr., Efren Ramirez, Bai Ling, Dwight Yoakam
Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
» See full cast & crew
Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray Review
Leave your brain -- and someone else's for good measure -- at the door.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, August 24, 2009
Just juice me.
Crank 2: High Voltage is a vulgar, graphic, twisted, and altogether boundary-pushing romp that's sure to leave a mile-wide grin on the face of anyone who's bold enough to take it all in and is sufficiently clued in so as not to take one single moment of it the least bit seriously. Pushing the boundaries of taste in practically every frame, Jason Statham's latest adventure and the followup to the adrenaline-charged Crank retains a comfortably similar tone and pace that re-captures the allure of the first movie but cranks it all up several notches, the result a picture that's a borderline masterwork of the macabre, a sensation of schlock, and a prizewinner of perversity. Lewd, vulgar, violent, blood-soaked, and painting each and every one of its characters as a caricature of even over-the-top action heroes and villains, Crank 2: High Voltage has one goal and one goal only: to entertain its audience with 90-plus minutes of unadulterated adult fun that's definitely not for the kids but is for the kid inside every adult that's ready to witness one of the most chaotic and deliciously distasteful movies ever committed to celluloid.
Crank 2: High Voltage picks up exactly where Crank ended. Chev Chelios (Jason Statham, Chaos) is thought to be dead but his still-ticking body has been shoveled off the pavement and taken in for a medical procedure -- and not one that's necessarily aimed at returning him to optimal health. His heart has been deemed a work of art of sorts, and someone with both the financial resources and the depravity to take it from him has ordered it removed for later transplant. Wanting to harvest more of his superhuman organs at a later date, Chelios is implanted with an artificial heart that requires electrical stimulation to keep it going, and keep him alive long enough for future procedures. Not one to take his fate on his back, Chelios manages to beat the snot out of anyone and everyone around him after he's been sufficiently stitched back up. Calling on his old friend, Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam, Sling Blade), Chelios figures out what it is he needs to keep on ticking, at least long enough to once again exact his own brand of revenge on anyone's that dead set on doing him wrong.
Crank 2: High Voltage is an absolute blast. Though it offers not even a shred of moral, cultural, political, or any other "-al" value, its true worth comes as a flat-out, down-and-dirty, tongue-pushing-through-cheek, 100 mile-per-hour, straight-downhill ride into the depths of depravity that's the ultimate in escapist entertainment. Crank 2: High Voltage was conceived, written, acted, and directed not with some high-and-mighty notion of sweeping the awards season but with the sole focus of capturing the absolute lowest common denominator and sinking it even further. Crank 2: High Voltage is a cartoonish video game on steroids and yanked straight out of a bad dream. It's like the Coyote and Roadrunner meet Grand Theft Auto, a deadly serious and supremely coarse and violent affair but with that "it's not real" lightheartedness that puts everything in context and, for as awful as it looks and sounds in a snapshot, takes the edge off the entire experience and allows for all the zaniness to be absorbed in the appropriate context. A perfect example is a strip club shootout that takes place about a third of the way through the movie; it's the amalgamation of all things lewd, crude, and violent but wrapped in a goofy and altogether playful tone that makes it one of the greatest over-the-top action scenes in recent memory. Still, there are several cringe-worthy moments throughout, but even they don't represent the stuff of all-out nightmares and will likely be long forgotten by the time the credits roll and the stomach-churning grotesqueness of those scenes will be but a hazy memory after all the finale has to offer.
At its core, though, Crank 2: High Voltage is basically not much more than a re-imagining of Crank. It features the exact same premise: Chev's body has been seriously harmed and he needs to keep the energy flowing to keep himself alive and exact revenge on the bad guys. The only difference here is that "energy" -- in the literal sense of the word -- has replaced "adrenaline" as the need of the day, but it matters not what it is that keeps Chev moving. All that matters is that he is moving and creating a path of destruction in his wake that considerably ups the ante from the first film. With his artificial heart, Chev might for a brief moment recall Tony Stark in Iron Man, but the similarities begin and end there. Chev Chelios is an oddball hero-antihero hybrid; he's easy to cheer for but exacts a type of revenge normally reserved for the worst kind of scum on the other side of the hero-villain ledger. No matter Chev's style, Crank 2: High Voltage exists only to revel in gratuitous, well, everything, and Directors Neveldine and Taylor, following up their work on Crank (and also working together in the big chair for the upcoming Gamer), do their part to spruce things up in this outing. The film features a jerky handheld camera that's sure to make several in the audience sick to their stomachs, even if they can swallow the onslaught of graphic violence. It shakes as fast as the action on-screen, delivering a sense of immersion into Chev's world, following each bob, weave, fall, jump, and every other move that keeps him mobile and, by extension, the audience spinning in their seats.
Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray, Video Quality
Crank 2: High Voltage electrifies the mind with a visually stunning 1080p, 1.85:1- framed transfer. Filmed digitally like its predecessor, Crank 2: High Voltage delivers a continuous string of gorgeous and mind-boggling high definition imagery that puts a new spin on the phrase "the camera sees everything." Even through the shaky handheld routine, visible detail appears as out-of-this-world good; viewers will see every fine detail on pavement or every pebble on a gravel-strewn alley. Each drop of blood and every bead of sweat appears as its own entity, a flowing, lifelike collection of detail that brings the transfer to glorious life. Perhaps most astonishing is the texture and intricate visible detail to be seen in close-up shots of the actors. Pores and facial hairs have never looked this real outside of those annoying and brutally honest several-times magnification mirrors that are sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Colors, too, are splendidly rendered; from the blue sky to the gray pavement and everything in between, there's no shortage of brilliantly reproduced hues to be found throughout the film. There are a few anomalies -- jagged edges and aliasing crop up in several shots -- but the intricate detail easily steals one's attention away from what are but trivial problems. Also sporting superb blacks and natural flesh tones, Crank 2: High Voltage looks absolutely marvelous on Blu-ray.
Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Crank 2: High Voltage sends a shock through the system with a dazzling DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack. Lionsgate really knows how to mix a fantastic action soundtrack, and Crank 2: High Voltage follows in the footsteps of Rambo as one of the absolute best. An aggressive and positively full-throttle sonic experience, Crank 2: High Voltage makes full use of the 7.1 configuration. Sound explodes from every corner of the listening area to startling and jaw-dropping effect. Gunshots ring out from every square inch of the listening area in a glorious barrage of Action movie sonic delight, and the high-charged music follows suit with every note blaring through the room. Hefty bass is an ever-present ally to the track, completing the experience. Other than commenting on the pitch-perfect dialogue reproduction, there's not much else to say here; this is a track that sells itself, one that must be heard to be believed, and settles near the top of the heap amongst the best reference-quality soundtracks currently available on Blu-ray.
Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Crank 2: High Voltage sends a jolt onto Blu-ray with several bonus features. Crank'd Out Commentary -- available in both a "Traditional" mode and a "High Voltage" mode -- is a picture-in-picture feature that sees the Writer/Director tandem of Neveldine/Taylor and several other participants discussing the film in both a serious and not-so-serious tone. Topics revolve around the plausibility (or lack thereof) of the story, the cameras used to capture the action, casting the roles, creating the special effects, and more. In addition to the directors, viewers will often see behind-the-scenes footage in the secondary video window, and pressing the blue button on the remote control will swap windows and bring the commentary and behind-the-scenes footage full-size ("High Voltage" mode) while placing the film in the secondary window. The Director commentary track is also available via an audio-only option. Making 'Crank 2' (1080i, 51:23) is an extensive piece that looks at the process of bringing this sequel to life, starting with the studio's desire to produce a sequel; Neveldine/Taylor's involvement in writing and, ultimately, directing the picture; and moving on to cover the nuts-and-bolts of the production. In between behind-the-scenes segments and cast and crew interview clips, the piece examines the cast, the oddball shooting locations, creating some of the special effects, the chances of seeing a Crank 3, and much more.
Crank 2: Take 2 (1080p, 4:03) is a brief extension piece that looks at the guerilla-style shooting method that captured the action in Crank 2 and showcases some of the "accidents" that are often captured on camera. Wrap Party Gag Reel (1080i, 3:26) looks at some of the lighter moments from the set. This disc also features "LG Live" which offers "LG Gadgets" that place news, local weather, and a clock on the menu screen; Twitter/Facebook Integration; Ringtones; and Wallpapers. Rounding out the supplements on disc one is the Crank 2: High Voltage 1080p trailer as well as additional high definition previews for More than a Game, The Transporter 3, Crank, Punisher: War Zone, and Rambo. Disc two of this set contains a digital copy of Crank 2: High Voltage, but it was unavailable for redemption at time of writing.
Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
As far as movies like this go, Crank 2: High Voltage delivers a complete experience. Oscar fodder this is not, but taken in the proper context, it's hard not love the ridiculousness of every frame. Rarely does a movie shoot for the lowest common denominator and score so easily as Crank 2: High Voltage. Completely tasteless, morally repugnant, but an absolute blast to watch, genre fans looking for a shock to the system shouldn't hesitate to strap in and juice up for this unparalleled-in-depravity experience. Blu-ray discs like Crank 2: High Voltage make being a reviewer easy. It's a technical knockout, serving up reference-grade video and audio presentations that need no introduction or description and simply demand to be seen and heard. Though the disc falls short of offering a complete supplemental package, Crank 2: High Voltage comes with a strong recommendation for mature audiences that can handle the film's extremely over-the-top antics and wish to enjoy a top-flight technical presentation at the same time.
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Crank 2: High Voltage Blu-ray, News and Updates
• BD Sales Information: September 7-13 (Update) - September 18, 2009
The Jason Statham actioner 'Crank 2: High Voltage' was far and away the top-selling title on Blu-ray during the week ended September 13, according to Nielsen VideoScan. The sales leader of the previous week, 'Gladiator', was number two, while the number one in ...
• Crank 2 UK Release Gets Detailed - July 14, 2009
Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced the release of 'Crank 2: High Voltage' on Blu-ray in the UK on September 14, day-and-date with the DVD. The audio and video specifications and special features for this UK release will closely replicate those on the US ...
• Requiem for a Dream & Crank 2 for September - June 16, 2009
Lionsgate Home Entertainment have announced that they will bring 'Requiem for a Dream' to Blu-ray on September 8th. On the same day, they will release 'Crank 2: High Voltage', day-and-date with the DVD release. For both releases, video will be presented in 1080p ...
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