Apr 19, 2009

Crank: High Voltage

We've seen this sort of competition before; genres duke it out all the time but never has a competitor been as fierce and unprovoked as Crank: High Voltage. Anticipating much, the sequel to the action bonanza Crank, which featured sex, guns, and sex, exploded instantly with an 8-bit letter to my heart depicting the final events of the first film in glorious old-school NES graphics which really grips a reign on the absurdist trophy this film extends its reach towards. I thought I had seen it all including the death of this so-called "absurdo-cinema" wave that was extinguished with the excruciating entries of both Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds and Feast 3: The Happy Finish. What a finisher it had been, momentarily not happy at all.

With these film theories, evolution certainly takes place while initiating a free fall course of change. In Feast, the humor got too over its own head and slowly suffered and drowned until the egotistical director decided to lampoon his own lampooning. Complex this, complex that; the eventual ending of Crank left a brand on all who have seen it. These dire images of a helpless quest forces us to ask ourselves if his revenge tale was at all in vain. Of course after finding out the hint of a continuation, we allow the lore of Chev Chelios to be dissected rather prudishly with various flashbacks and an idea of his "Superman" status and the extents this raging man will go to secure his future sex life.

Crank: High Voltage is a film I had been craving since my first fix back when the original piece was released to DVD. A simple image of Statham wielding a gun to a psychotropic washout explosion of reddish colors was my bargaining chip but upon further inspection, this piece of "intellectual" film based on lucid entertainment broadened my horizons in a major way. Entering with absolutely no expectations other than a seemingly Escape from New York plot progression ripoff, I was absolutely hammered with images of extreme chaos, nerve-shattering chase sequences, and endearing amounts of public display of genital affection. It should come as no surprise to any that have heard of the sequel that our main "hero," Chev Chelios, died (or so we thought) at the grand finale of this revolutionary wake-up call to action cinema. Within the marketing advertisements for the sequel, we discover that our friend is not dead but has been taken captive - again. This time, his heart is removed and in place is an electric heart. I'll skip the schematics and the scientific assets but in a nut shell, Chev Chelios needs electricity to survive in order to acquire his heart for correctional surgery.

When Crank: High Voltage was given authentic life; a red-band trailer, a few images, and a teaser poster, I was blessed with dream-like images of Kaiju Chelios, hardcore vein-extraction in a family friendly habitat for ritualistic cinema indulgence, and an amount of profanities to build a fucking bomb shelter out of. Judging from these few samples of what was to come, I knew that the duo directing team behind the masterful original had been hard at work with a film that will surpass even their own limited expectations. Armed with 10 $1,000 HD mini-cams, this team worked with passive digression and a destructive vision of action cinema to create the holy grail of entertainment. I dub thee, Crank: High Voltage, the honor of being one of the most enormously engaging films of the past century and one of the few films that made me sick, not because of the outrageous moments of lenticular extremes, but the vulgar amount of obscenity transfered into any possible object containable with kinetic energy. Crank: High Voltage isn't just a "must see film," It's a goddamn infection that must be spread to every little boy or girl whether they be naughty or nice.

Where do I begin on the aspect of the score that also serves as an sound effect board. The directing team decided to hire General Mike Patton for work on the score of Crank: High Voltage. If you can expect anything from the godfather of modern spazz-avant-garde, It is a damn remarkable score that keeps you enthralled while doing the past duty of the previous film by keeping your heart rate constantly accelerating with primitive beats and screeching whistles from he who can only be deemed as a musical genius. If it wasn't for this man's genius rendition of what a contemporary "Dogme 95" action film should sound like, I couldn't even imagine how dreary this flick would have sounded with the aid of a studio faucet like Hans Zimmer. Mike Patton is indeed welcome to any and all forms of gracious praise to cleverly aid this tongue-in-cheek hitman film to an era of films based on hired killers that doesn't center itself around a loathsome creature that is just Another Lonely Hitman. To boost the man's ego even more, I could consider the Crank: High Voltage score to be one of the more memorable ones. Watch in delight as Chelios breaks the "third wall" when he begins to whistle along Patton's score. Such delights have never before been captured on film. Crank: High Voltage feels like a breakthrough experiment in filmic "Cryptozoology": Something so rare that you'd never thought you would encounter in your natural life.

It's not easy accepting the idea of Crank: High Voltage. Look at me, out of fear that our local theater wouldn't receive the film (which it didn't,) I began to have strenuous nightmares about the idea of never seeing a follow up to the original ending that needed more depth excavated into the instantly cult lore of top assassin Chev Chelios. To put it gingerly, Crank: High Voltage is a masterpiece of auteur action cinema destined for the gutter with regards to the modern sensibilities of most folks poisoned by "sexual repression." To make a film with no conditions of political-correctiveness and in turn reap the rewards of having the freedom to film whatever-the-fuck-you-want proved to ultimately be the resuscitation that the dying body of Chelios needed. After this riotous, raunchy film, I demanded more Crank. I need more to keep my own "Strawberry Tart" going. This is something I personally need to see through to it's bittersweet completion. Whether you're looking for lunch box/Kevin Costner jokes or simply to watch a mulatto receive a shotgun, greased up in oil, shoved up his ass with intentions to fire, Crank: High Voltage is an action film that will never backfire on you, only upset whatever vulnerabilities you might not be acquainted with. Out of all the films to need discretion warnings, Crank: High Voltage is the only one that matters. God only knows the strange impulses I've experienced after watching this cardiac arrest of cinema academia.



Fox said...

YES! I've already seen this movie twice.

I love that you use Feast 2 & Feast 3 in comparison to the Crank franchise in order to make distinctions in pop-adsurdist cinema.

I think love for this movie - like the first - is going to have to thrive in the blogosphere. Per usual, mainstream reviewers (via Metacritic links) have been lame.

The negative reviewers don't even seem to have fully seen the film. They mention a "rape by rifle" scene and then dismiss it completely. I feel bad for these people. They have dead eyes and boring brains. Dislike Crank : High Voltage if you must, but good god, at least give me some substance in your disapproval.

I hope there is a Crank 3... please please please!!!

Soiled Sinema said...

Feast 2 & 3 account for most of what I hate about self-dictated as absurdist cinema. As you perfectly precipitated with your remarks of a stoner - "whoaaa," we've had quite a few "misunderstandings" in which some high & mighty cinema goer attempts to condescend our film taste in hopes of us realizing I was at fault for hating a film that has no respect for the very audience it seeks to entertain. Crank 2 really, really feels like an intellectual evolution from the original. In many ways and mainly the score, Crank: High Voltage feels surreal in the very delivery. The sounds, the pops, the whirls. The score of Crank 2 sounds like a YakBak with murderous intentions getting shredded in a blender. As for a Crank 3? There should be no reason we don't get one. As you watch through the credits, the same "You think he's dead" approach is used but this time leaves open a more Frankenstein approach, ultimately adding onto the mythos of Chelios being part Superman. Judging from his damage I can only assume the third and probably final film will have him either lightning himself on fire constantly or his skin permanently burning, paving way for a true sequel to Ghost Rider. One can only hope. As with the viewings, I too watching Crank: High Voltage twice.


Anonymous said...

"breaks the 3rd wall" - well said - I was thrilled to hear his whistling in accordance with the music background while he was walking with the rifle ... oh btw, now I got it - he stuck the rifle up to behind the trigger pomp, so if the fat guy tried to get it out, the rifle would have given a shot :)))

jervaise brooke hamster said...

statham is garbage because he`s british.