Poffy The Cucumber

“Someone’s always giving me the arse!”

Tits and Guns and Blood and Tits.

Jason Statham‘s big-dick energy once again sees him running rampage in Los Angeles streets, mowing down gangsters, and getting laid in public.

This movie’s predecessor, CRANK (2006) followed hitman Chev Chelios (Statham) after he was injected with a drug that would kill him if his adrenalin dropped below a certain level. Think SPEED on, uh, crank… It made for a ramped non-stop actioner as Chelios hunted the gangsters who injected him, whilst keeping his heart beating at suicide levels. Now, in CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE, a Chinese mob boss, impressed with the indestructible masculinity of Chelios’s heart, has taken it for himself and transplanted Chelios with a mechanical one that needs constant jolts of electricity to continue pumping – sending Chelios on another ultra-octane quest: chasing down his heart-nappers to get it back!

Sorry, did I mention CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE is batshit insane? The fact it doesn’t take itself seriously makes it blackly hilarious as well.

The Chinese mob boss Poon Dong (who else but David Carradine?!) doesn’t simply kill Chelios, due to the One-Line Plothole-Fix: to harvest all of Chelios’s manly organs one at a time.

HIGH VOLTAGE features new brain-addled characters, like hooker Bai Ling, more repulsive than even Miley Cyrus; thug Joseph Julian Soria (who recently displayed his next-level chops in HAMLET 2), and Art Hsu as slimy Johnny Yang, who is roughed up so much while grasping a cooler with Chelios’s heart in it, I’m sure it must be mush by now.

Other eccentric side-characters from CRANK return, sprinkled into the mucky-muck like shards of glass in pudding: girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), whom Chelios discovers stripping (“I thought you were dead!” – so that’s a reason to become a stripper? She would ride Chelios reverse-cowboy in public on the horse track, while real jockeys race by them); Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakum), “I was a certified heart surgeon – at least I was – I’m pretty sure I can put your heart back in”; and Efren Ramirez in a hilarious turn as Venus, the (wink wink) “twin brother” of Kaylo, Chelios’s transvestite pal who got killed in the last movie.

Allying with Chelios to avenge his brother’s murder, Venus reveals he has “Full Body Tourette’s” that spasms his whole body at the worst of times. Is this a real condition? Hell, no! ALL Tourette’s affects your “full body” – uncontrollable tics, shrugs, grimacing are all symptoms of Tourette’s, not just– motherfucker piss shit cunt–

The funny thing is, these once-unimportant characters being reprised by the same actors in this installment somehow makes them important in this universe, and therefore warrant mentioning – hell, even Glenn Howerton returns as The Intern (in 2006, ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA was finding its feet – by this movie’s release, everyone knows the sociopath Dennis Reynolds…

“I’ve got that Best Director On Roller Skates award on LOCK!”

Released in April 2009, almost like an April Fool’s joke on cinema with its hyper-reality and ultra-violence and mega-resilient human bodies, co-writers-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor smash-cut HIGH VOLTAGE like a runaway 18-wheeler around the grimiest, slimiest parts of Los Angeles; in other words – Los Angeles.

And they put Chev Chelios through the ringer – cops beat him with nightsticks until they tase him and he explodes out from under them, stealing the taser to use on himself until the charge runs out; he sees a man mistreating a dog with an electric collar, puts the collar on himself and makes the owner press the button; he attaches himself to jumper cables – one on the nip, one on the tongue; he creates friction by rubbing himself on a terrified old lady, who tells reporters: “He looked like one of those trainspotting fellows!”; he chases Johnny Yang to – what else? – a high voltage plant, where he makes Fluffy Movie Sparks fly to his heart’s content…

The filmmaking is like Robert Rodriguez meeting Danny Boyle, both accosting Edgar Wright. Filmed with filters wide open, making the sunny day look sweltering; crash-cuts, slamming cams, Dutch angles, titles onscreen, diabolical inserts and music cues; Ron Jeremy cameo!; Jennifer’s dad from BREAKING BAD is news anchor!; soundtrack by Mike Patton (Faith No More); Clifton Collins Jr chews scenery as the Big Bad, making thug Soria cut off his own nipples for losing Chelios!; Verona, Big Bad from CRANK, is now a head in cryo-liquid (think: FUTURAMA), just being kept alive to see Chelios defeated! Not with that Big Dick energy he won’t be!… Disturbing. Hilarious. Insane.

Guns. Blood. Tits. Big dick.


Directors, Writers, Producers: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor.
Music: Mike Patton.
Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, Efren Ramirez, Julanne Chidi Hill, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Reno Wilson, Keone Young, Art Hsu, Joseph Julian Soria, Bai Ling, Clifton Collins Jr., David Carradine, Corey Haim.
RATINGS-06 imdb
Word Count: 760      No. 1,631
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