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Crank 2: High Voltage :2stars:
Crank 2 BD.jpg
Liongate Studios
Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, Corey Haim, Bai Ling
Directed by: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Writen by: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Rated: R
Runtime: 96 mins
Aspect: 1.85.1
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 2 - Main feature and digital copy
Blu-ray and DVD release date: September 8, 2009

High Voltage, Low Power:
Because falling over a mile out of a helicoptor isn't enough to stop Chev Chelios we're served up Crank 2. Picking up where they left Chev in Crank, spattered on the downtown Los Angeles pavement, the movie opens with a reprise of the classic 8-bit video game plot device, after which, goons from the local Chinese Triad appear and scrap our would be protagonist off the pavement, from here the movie goes downhill rapidly.

Heavy on effects, thin on substance:
The plot of the film centers around the seemingly indestructable heart of Chev Chelios. Jason Statham reprises his role of the contract killer everyone roots for. This time around he's survived the Chinese poison he was given in Crank only to have his heart removed to help re-invigorate the ancient and almost mythical Triad leader, Poon Dong played by David Carradine.

Unfortunately for our hero, Poon Dong plans to harvest more organs. Needing Chev alive, Poon Dong has his doctors insert an artificial heart which was designed for transplant patients and is meant to last only a short time by way of battery backup. Chev wakes up during the doctors discussion of what organs are to be harvested next and thus begins our crazy ride through the streets of Los Angeles with Chev and a slew of seedy characters on his quest to get back his "strawberry tart". Along the way running Chev runs into several charaters from the first film as well as countless new friends and advesaries.

The plot is thin and the twists and turns predictable. Many of the jokes are re-hashed from the first Crank, but not done nearly as well and the characters are written just a bit too silly to be believable. The film has a few humorous moments, but they are overshadowed by over the top performances and predictable situations.

Put your hands on your heads and step away from the sequels:
Written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor who both wrote and directed the first Crank as well as colaborating on such films as "Pathology" (2008) and "Gamer" (2009), one has to wonder where they went wrong. I was a fan of the first movie. Though over the top, it was unique, it was fun and it kept my interest until the end. Crank 2 was more like coming across a train wreck, you want to look away from the carnage, but morbid curiosity keeps you watching to see how it's going to end up. I can't help thinking Chev Chelios, as well as Jason Statham's career, would have been better served had Mark and Brian left their character to die the hero's death in the first film.

From grit and grime to spit and shine:
On the brighter side, the films look was what you'd expect from a 1080p Blu-ray. Presented in 1.85:1, textures were clean and detailed, colors very vibrant and lifelike. From the downtown streets, to the slums of LA, to the horse track, the film captures the feel and look of the various parts of Los Angeles. My only complaint about the video presentation is the handheld and often over played camera tricks, which are a distraction at best and for those of us with large projection screens, nauseating at worse. :sick:


High voltage sound:
The audio track was the DTS HD Master 7.1 lossless format. I found the audio to be the highlight of the picture as it was never over done. Bass was powerful without being overbearing, voices were well mixed with the music and sound effects. I never found myself straining to hear the vocal track over the other parts of the audio presentation. Sound effects were well placed within the sound stage even on panning shots the effects seemed to eminate from the appropriate locations in the room. Props to the sound department. For those interested there is also a French language track presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital as well as English and Spanish subtitles and English SDH for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Special Features and Digital Copy:
Special features on the disc are a basic spattering of:
Audio commentary with Writers/Directors Neveldine/Taylor
Making Crank 2
Crank 2: Take 2: Featurette
Gag Reel / Wrap Party
Theatrical Trailer
MoLog
(requires Profile 2.0 player)

There is also an "LG Live" button on the main menu which takes you to the BD-Live features. (Requires profile 2.0 player)
and the Bonus-View track with cast and crew (requires additional audio connections for those using home theater receivers)
Finally there is the popular "Digital Copy" on the second disc. Though the only reason I see for this is to watch the film on a smaller screen to lessen the nauseating camera effects! :bigsmile:


And that's a wrap:
Movies choices are a personal taste as are the reviews of them and I'm sure several of you will disagree with my review of this film. I've always liked movies for the entertainment value, not for the little critiques most reviewers pull apart or praise films for. If it entertains you and you have a good time watching it, then by all means enjoy! Unfortunately for me, I cannot recommend this film. Though a fan of the first Crank I firmly believe it should have been left there.

"Survey says"
Film: :2stars:
Video: :3.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Special Features: :2.5stars:
Overall Rating: :3stars:
 

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I wasn't too impressed with the first Crank... took all I could do to watch it. The jittery camera effect was none too fun to sit through either. I am surprised they made a second one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree that the first Crank was jittery, but this one was far worse, they used a lot of stop motion techniques and some of the camera men were on roller blades which really made things difficult to watch. Don't be surprised if they find a way to make a third installment. Some things are better left alone like the idea of Saw VI coming Oct. 23rd.
 

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I really like Jason Statham - I consider him to be perhaps the only action star in this day and age who might have come close to being able to hang with Stallone, Schwarzeneggar, and Van Damme. The problem is he accepts almost any script....ok, every script. Sure, he'll make some millions now, but it's going to catch up with him and prevent him from landing the big roles down the road, just like with Van Damme.

He's been a part of a few really good ones, and with him as the main attraction, the first Transporter was great. If he could just be more selective, it will pay dividends later.
 

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I must admit I do like his films also but this one was not good at all, almost verging on ridiculous...turned it off in the end :(
 

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I have to agree, Jason Statham did great in "Transporter", the second was a bit cheesy and the third was great action, but the story just didn't capture my attention. I thought he did a great job in "The Bank Job" and I even liked his performance in "Death Race". I would have to say that to date my favorite film with him has been "War", but he really does need to stop selling out and taking any script that comes his way.
 

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Thanks for the review. I really didn't like the original Crank so I had no intention of seeing this one. This review solidifies my decision to avoid this movie.
 

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Good call Jon.

I liked the first Crank, and Jason Statham in general, enough to rent this one. I consider it now an hour and a half I'll never get back. Pass.


Tim
:drive:
 

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I really like Jason Statham - I consider him to be perhaps the only action star in this day and age who might have come close to being able to hang with Stallone, Schwarzeneggar, and Van Damme. The problem is he accepts almost any script....ok, every script. Sure, he'll make some millions now, but it's going to catch up with him and prevent him from landing the big roles down the road, just like with Van Damme.
So how come he turned down Alien VS Predator2 then?:rofl2: I’ve only seen one film/DVD with him in and that was Snatch.

Not in the least bit interested in these films with over the top camera jitter! By the way what was the first film to use this annoying camera technique?

I’m guessing Earthquake 1974 has that had some jittery camera work to make you feel your there!
 

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Just watched this the other night............I should have saved my money.......:thumbsdown:
 

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No disagreement at all with what anyone has said. I do consider "Crank" (the original) to be a guilty pleasure. Of course, very little, if any of these films deal with much that's plausible.

But, Crank 2 does seem like little more than an after thought. It even makes fun of its own ridiculousness.....even from the early sequences (the TV news reporter even calls the series of events like it is).

I would imagine that the film makers made Statham an offer he "couldn't refuse" to do this film. It (and he) tries to be funny, over the top, and totally ridiculous. Most times, it fails at even those times, miserably (remind me again the purpose of the totally silly fight scene at the power plant?).

Just barely made it to my rental list. Found myself watching the whole thing just to see the how it ended (you can skip forward to the last 5 minutes, and not miss much of anything). I couldn't get it back into its sleeve and shipped back to Blockbuster fast enough.
 

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Wow! What a wild ride that one was! Way over the top, just the way I like it sometimes. Ya, rock on! :T

Great picture and audio too. I just love those two young directors. This is coming to join my blu-ray copy of the first Crank for sure; just need to get an SD card* for my BD55. My Sammy 5000 plays it, but my Panny is my player numero uno.

* Mmm..., about that? I need an SD card now just to play a Blu-ray disc in my Panny 55!!!
That's not supposed to happen, but that's excatly what is happening!!!
And I'm talking about playback only!
Anyone else noticed that from their Panny Blu-ray players?
 

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I took the first on with a pinch of salt, and put my serious hat back on the stand for a bit. I quite enjoyed the first one as a result, so decided to do the same with the second film.

It was pants :duh:, and no amount of trying to go with the flow could really detract from that. I can say Ive watched it now but thats about all I can take from it I think.
 

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I really like Satham, but Crank was not a sequel movie. I really loved Crank, but a sequel is just ridiculous.

War is one of my favorite audio tracks. That movie was just sick with great sound.
 

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I really loved Crank, but a sequel is just ridiculous.
I think this is part of the issue with the second film, or most of it from the off. The first one was good because of the way it finished, and sometimes ending like that is what helps to conclude a film well, and raise it up a little more than it honestly was. The ending of the first films was a change from the norm of the hero being saved at the last minute, and it gave the original some respectability. The second film completely ignores that, and even going with a twin would have been an improvement. The second film felt like they were surprised how well the first film did, so rushed another out to try cash in quick.
 
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