Complete A-Z list

Crank 2: High Voltage


Stars: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, Efren Ramirez, Clifton Collins Jr, Bai Ling, Corey Haim, David Carradine, Geri Halliwell

Director: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

The on-screen television newscaster who describes hitman Statham’s latest on-screen rampage as “implausible” has this silly, switch off your brain and let the action rip level sequel bang to rights. Starting where Crank left off, Statham falls from a helicopter in flight and lands on his head with a crunchy thud. But what would have been fatal for normal people doesn’t affect an actor. Naturally!

Instead, Chinese hoodlums steal his heart to revive their ancient gang lord Carradine, stupidly replacing Statham’s missing ticker with a metal heart. Cue mayhem, violence, more mayhem, even more violence and a complete lack of credibility as Statham sets out to retrieve his stolen organ, pausing only to kick-start his new heart with frequent electrical top-ups…

The humour is black and cynical, the action impressively orchestrated by writer-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and the relentlessly foul language might even bring a blush to the delicate cheek of a Channel 4 commissioning editor. And all that on a '15' certificate.

That said, if you enjoyed Crank then you’ll almost certainly be viscerally entertained by the character’s latest adventure. There’s no pretence to acting – Statham is an everything-goes action hero rather than a convincing dramatic performer, and anyway an attempt at 'real' acting would simply get in the way of his kick-ass mission. While the movie’s IQ is about the same as its certificate, that really doesn’t matter. Action is the name of the game and on that simplistic level, it delivers. (And remember Corey Haim? Unlikely, I agree, but he's back again with nothing much to recommending his return).

Alan Frank

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
96 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 27 Apr 2009