movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Yay sequels! But some endeavors can never be repeated again. I personally found Crank 1 to be groundbreaking; quite possibly my favorite action movie ever. Incredible style and energy. And for the most part, the Chelios character is an excellent anti-hero — committing incredible and brutal atrocities and murders, but pretty much being morally justified at all times because it was all in self-defense. Good stuff!

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a frenetic film named Crank,
about a man with the constitution of a tank.
Sequels are more of the same,
This one certainly wasn’t lame.
The filmmakers I would still like to thank.

HAIKU REVIEW: It sucks to be you.
Someone replaced your damn heart
with a battery!

PEOPLE: Same directors as the first movie. Jason Statham (The Transporter, Snatch, Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, The Italian Job) returns as Chelios. I sort of consider him “the white Jackie Chan”. Amy Smart (Just Friends, Scrubs, Robot Chicken) returns as Eve. Dwight Yoakam returns as Doc Miles, and it is revealed that the way he lost his medical license was [highlight for spoilers] botching his wife’s vaginal rejuvination surgery in his basement. Efren Ramirez (aka Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite) plays Venus, the brother of Chelios’s friend from the first movie. I did not even recognize Corey Haim as Randy, the mullet-sportin’ redneck stripper-pimp(?) character! But I did recognize Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice) playing Chelios’s mother in a childhoold flashback. I should have recognized David Carradine, and I certainly should have noticed Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman‘s cameo. Ron Jeremy was, of course, hard to miss. And I recognized Jenna Haze… partially from the help of John The Canadien’s blog :)

QUIRKS/VISUALS: All the same quirks as Crank 1. Insane frenetic surrealistic on-screen visuals meant to simulate what it’s like to be Chelios. It works well. This is another style-over-substance success. The visuals aren’t quite as good as Crank 1. Carolyn said they used them more gratuitously and unnecessarily — yet I remember more of them in Crank 1, which may just mean that Crank 1 used their visual effects in a less gratuitous / more appropriate manner.

Definitely less video game references than the first movie. They only appear at the very beginning. You get to see the last scene of Crank 1 as if it were a 16-bit Nintendo game.

MORALS: When you’re dying, every action you take is morally justified as self-defense. Thus, we find an anti-hero who murders people and commits horrible atrocities, but is completely justified in most of what he does. If it wasn’t for the mile-a-minute action, there might actually be time to have some interesting thoughts and discussions about ethics and morality. But none of that! Here comes a fist at your face! Breakneck pace is what Crank movies are all about!

BAD STUFF: If Crank 1 was ridiculous, this was ricockulous. There is a scene where he is so juiced up that they show it as a 1960s Godzilla-style spoof. We kind of looked at each other like, “What … The … Fuck?“. Undoubtedly that is the moment the franchise jumped the shark for many people, but we know this movie isn’t supposed to be realistic in the first place. It’s like they wanted us to step back and realize that this movie is not to be taken seriously. Then they had the childhood flashback dream sequence where Chelios is a kid on a talk show about troubled kids. (His mom is Ginger Spice.) The Godzilla scene in particular would have been better as ANYTHING else… But it was only about 1 minute long anyway. So we moved on. :)

Also, the ending is VERY abrupt. But more scenes appear throughout the credits, so you really have to stay to the end.

CONCLUSION: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. Not that this makes logical sense, but even if this were the EXACT same movie as the first, it would not score as high. You just can’t repeat the feeling of seeing something that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. And it’s kind of hard to top Crank 1 in that respect. If Crank 1 didn’t exist, and this was the first Crank movie… Who knows, maybe I’d have rated it 5/5 stars, or at least 9/10 on IMDB. But alas, you just can’t repeat some things twice.

But they did a good job keeping up the insane frenetic feel, the anti-hero who does horrible things for all the right reasons, and repeating a lot of similar situations from the 1st movie (on purpose–for example, sex in front of a lot of people).

And I’d still watch Crank 3 if it ever comes out. And 4. And 5. etc etc. I just wont expect to eve be blown away as much as I was during Crank 1.

RECOMMENDATION: See it!!!! But see Crank 1 first, and don’t expect this to be as good. The reason I like sequels is not because they are better, but becuase they are more. More… versus nothing. I’ll take more over nothing, as long as it doesn’t totally suck.

Mood: agitated
Music: Kreator – Riot Of Violence