Crank: High Voltage: ** (out of 4) / * 1/2 (out of 4)
My dual-rating movie review system is generally used for clearly-bad movies - only used once since I started tracking my reviews - under the theory that the joy of bad movies is different than the joy of good ones. The last number, the what-the-movie-is-aimed-at number, pretty much has to end up at "BOMB" or somewhere really close to it, or else the movie is actually trying to be a good movie and there's little point in separating them out. This was the first exception to that rule I've seen - this movie was trying to be both bad and good, and for the most part it succeeded.
I first saw the original Crank a few weeks ago, because several of my friends wouldn't let it go. I don't think I got as much out of it as they expected I would, because I already knew that it was going to be insanely over-the-top; it wasn't the same shock to me as it had been to them. Still, it was memorable and strange and satisfying watching Jason Statham do strange stunts, kill lots of people, blow stuff up, have sex in public, etc - a nice "comic book" feel, without much of a need to really pay attention.
But given that everybody knew the background going in - the main character died at the end of the last movie, for Gods' sakes - how was this movie going to keep up the shock value? Simple - it raised the stakes considerably. Sometimes this simply meant sight gags, but most of the time it meant over-the-top violence, with excessively bad people doing excessively bad things to each other over and over again, with as much blood and guts as they could fit into the movie.
This movie slowed down probably 2-3 times during the whole movie, and those times only for blackly comic effect (the shotgun scene and the stray bullet). The rest of the time, it just kept on throwing as many bullets, breasts, and bodies at the viewer as it could get away with.
And to say any more would spoil some of the stupendous silliness.
I'm expecting the next one will be in 3D. And I'll go see it.
** / * 1/2