Star cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, Efren Ramiez
Plot: Chinese goons have replaced Jason Statham’s heart with an artificial heart. The equipment that is keeping Jason alive is destroyed in an accident. Jason has one hour before his heart runs out of battery. His girlfriend, Amy Smart, and lots of electrifying action help him survive and reach his doctor for transplantation.
What’s Good: The racy storyline; Jason Statham’s work; the well-orchestrated action sequences and snappy editing.
What’s Bad: For some, the overdose of swearwords.
Verdict: Jason Statham’s Crank 2: High Voltage lives up to its title. It’s high voltage action wrapped around a weird but snappy storyline.
Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment’s Crank 2: High Voltage is a racy action-thriller about Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), and continues from where the previous film, Crank, had left off. So Chev, who fell to his death in the last film, is actually alive and abducted by Chinese goons who want his heart for their patriarch boss, Poon Dong (David Carradine), who is in need of a heart transplant.
The film begins with Chev waking up in an unknown location, sedated, while various Chinese are harvesting his organs. His heart is gone, in an ice chest; with an artificial heart in its place. Chev escapes, knowing only the name of the guy with the ice chest.
Chev calls his doctor, Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam), who informs Chev that there is only an hour’s life in the artificial heart and he has to keep it charged by the battery. Chev needs to find his own heart and get it back to Doc for a transplant. However, Chev breaks the equipment attached to his artificial heart in a car accident and now must treat himself to mild electric shocks to keep the artificial heart beating. From here starts a series of encounters as Chev goes on a rampage in search of Johnny Vang (Art Hsu), who is carrying Chev’s real heart in a red ice box.
In this unlikely pursuit, Chev is aided by his girlfriend, Eve (Amy Smart), who he finds working as a stripper; by Ria (Bai Ling), a prostitute whom Chev rescues; and by Venus (Efren Ramirez), his friend, who is afflicted with full body Tourette’s syndrome. Every time Chev’s heart slows down, he has to electrify his body in a variety of ways – by using his car’s jumper cables or an electric dog collar and by having sex with Eve on the racetrack! Will Chev manage to retrieve his heart from the red ice box and take it to Doc in time? Does the ice box have any heart at all? These questions are answered in the rest of the film.
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s story writing skills must be praised. The screenplay is racy and keeps you engaged, even though initially you might not understand all that is happening on screen. What they miss in writing, they more than make up in direction, treating the audience to a constant barrage of snappily shot and edited footage replete with jaw-breaking action, skin show and tongue-in-cheek dialogues.
Jason Statham takes the cake. He is just fabulous as Chev. The rest of the cast performs ably. Casting by Kelly Wagner is spot on. All the gangsters in the film, whether Chinese, Spanish or otherwise, look and act their parts well. Mike Patton’s original music score is appropriate and adds vigour to the film. The stylized cinematography (Brandon Trost) and editing (Marc Jakubowicz) make the film worth a watch.
All in all, while Jason Statham might be looking for his next dose of electrons in the film, the audience will be definitely jolted by all the action. Must watch for action fanatics.
– By Mrigank Dhaniwala