I thought I’d try doing something a little different for the month of October. This being the fabled Scary Month, of course, I thought it might be an interesting idea to review some horror films. This plan quickly unraveled, however, after watching the first ten minutes of Saw, and remembering that the reason that I don’t watch more scary movies is because I am a total wimp and all round pansy, incapable of absorbing massive amounts of horror and mutilation. I resolved, instead, to make the month of October into the month of ridiculously bad films. I suspect this plan will last precisely until this time next week, when I forget all about this plan to begin with.
Crank 2, the follow up to the hilariously violent first movie, is honestly the most gratuitous gross out movies I’ve ever watched. There are more topless women than main characters. The plot, negligble and bizarre. Many scenes exist simply for the trashy splendor of it all. Yet, through it all, you’ll never stop laughing at all the irreverent violence and dialogue.
Jason Statham reprises his role of Chev Chelios, who is having an unusually bad day. The first film saw him poisoned with a strange Chinese toxin that cut off the adrenaline flow to his body, eventually resulting in death. So, to compensate, Chelios had to do a lot of exciting things to keep his blood pumping, which was pretty much an excuse for him to evolve into a one man army and to bang his girlfriend, Eve (Amy Smart) in public. Crank one ended with Chelios falling out of a helicopter, plummeting a good mile into a crowded intersection, decimating a car after leaving one final phone message to Eve.
The last image we have of Chelios is him BLINKING, a final message to us out in the audience that holy shit, Chelios lived somehow! Though by the time Chelios checks out at the end of Crank, he’s already pretty much established as a supernatural avatar of rage and vengence. Not because of anything they ever say in the film, mind you. No, by the end we know Chelios isn’t going to die because he’s too fucking badass to die, is all.
Crank 2 picks up right where the first one left off. Some dudes show up a good two minutes after Chelios eats pavement and scoop up his body with the help of a snow shovel. They then take him to an undisclosed location, wherein they take out Chelios’ heart while under the sketchy eyes of an irritating man with an even more irritating laugh named Johnny Vang (Art Hsu).
Chelios isn’t left high and dry, however. His captors generously shove an artificial heart into his chest cavity, which is a totally legitimate and safe medical manuever recognized by all science. He wakes up again some three months later, while the “doctors” around him talk about which of his organs they are to steal next. When they decide that his dong is the next “organ” to be cannibalized, Chelios decides that while he likes impromptu surgery as much as the next guy, there are certain parts he’d rather not have to track down.
So, off Chev goes on a crusade to get back his missing heart, stolen by the same irritating man who messed with him during surgery. In order to keep the new heart pumping, however, Chelios has to keep himself electrically charged. Expect a lot of scenes of Chelios shocking himself with car batteries and other highly dangerous electrical outlets just to keep himself going. When he’s hyper charged with electricity, Chelios is A) pretty much an invincible badass, and B) tripping balls, which leads to some pretty unusual scenes, one of which resembles an old school Godzilla vs. Godzilla 2 monster brawl. (Yeah, I’ll admit it. I know nothing about Godzilla. Whatever. You get the point.)
Like I said at the beginning of this article, many of the scenes exist solely to gross you out. Others are just an excuse to see various hot ladies and leading lady Amy Smart, topless. And a minor third of the film is dedicated to the plot, which is Chev Chelios and just how many people he can murder before his time is up. But Crank 2 is very much a movie that realizes how ridiculous it is and often pokes fun at itself. At one point Chelios is described by one elderly lady as “the guy from those transporter movies,” Chev actually whistles along with the background music at one point, and for a good portion of the film he travels with a Ria (Bai Ling), whose english is so bad the directors actually had to provide us with subtitles.
Having watched Crank helps a bit. A lot of minor characters resurface from the first film. Crank 2 will give us some flashes from the first film to get us up to speed, but the action goes so fast plot points quickly go from “startling recoveries” to “brutal slaughter of 130 guys” in a matter of seconds.
So why should you watch Crank 2? Well, first, if you’re easily offended… yeah, don’t watch it. Probably for the best. But Crank 2 is so ridiculously over the top and hilarious you’ll find yourself being entertained despite yourself. Also, once you start watching the film, you’re going to have to finish it, because you’ll actually get the feeling that if you turn it off halfway through, Chev Chelios will actually come to your house and murder you for showing that kind of disrespect. And Jason Statham isn’t the kind of guy I’d want mad at me.