"The frat boys think they're cool!"
Crank: High Voltage
is among the stupidest fucking movies I've ever seen. Writer/directors
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor must think Jean Claude Van Damme
movies are just too contemplative. What's weird about this movie
is that it's so proudly idiotic. Like somehow the grassfuckers
think by amping up the pointlessness it will transcend its own
laziness and stupidity. It's like going on a date with a girl
who tells you in advance that she farts a lot. Self-awareness
doesn't make her stink any less.
Jason Statham plays an asshole named Chev Chelios.
Apparently he's a hitman in the first Crank movie. He's
not much of anything in this one. But with a name like that it's
unlikely he's going to be a professor of economics or a brain
surgeon. The movie begins with Statham falling from the sky, bouncing
off the roof of a Jaguar and being whisked away by Chinese gangsters
who steal his heart and insert an artificial one. They want Statham's
indestructible heart to transplant into their leader. They plug
in the artificial one to keep him alive so they can next harvest
his dick. After catching wind of their plans for der wienerschnitzel,
Statham bolts the operating room.
The following long and redundant 75 minutes feature
Statham running around a Los Angeles ripped from some video-game-addled
shut-in 15-year-old boy's fantasies. The women never wear tops
and are all strippers, hookers or porn stars there to be humped
or insulted. There is a scene of striking porn actors for God
knows what reason other than it sounded really cool to the pre-pubescent
writer-directing team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (who
pretentiously only use their last names for the directing credit--maybe
they are aspiring to be McG). One scene features Statham and another
actor as Godzilla-type monsters grappling in a fake cityscape
(what the fuck?). That scene is supposed to be humorous but it
simply illustrates how unfunny and derivative Neveldine and Taylor
Statham searches for his heart by killing dozens
of people and shoving a rifle up one guy's ass. He connects himself
to electrical sources to keep his battery-powered replacement
heart pumping. Actually, there is about 30 minutes of mindless
bloodshed, 20 minutes of tired ethnic cliches and jokes about
cops eating donuts, and then about 25 minutes of silly editing
bullshit that makes the movie look more like a bad film-school
thesis than a professional production. Some asshole with Avid
got a boner every time the footage got choppy, a cmera angle got
swoopy or they could do a split screen. I forgot to mention the
"hilarious" scene where a guy using a long-distance card at a
payphone has to enter about 100 digits. I stopped watching Evening
at the Improv in about 1990, so maybe I missed the news that
this gag is funny again.
Crank: High Voltage proudly has almost no
plot. It also proudly hates women. Not objectifies them, hates
them. It seems the makers are so fucking scared of ladies that
they can only picture them in pornographic terms. That's pretty
great in terms of the amount of nudity. But, the nudity is presented
so juvenilely, as if to appeal to the lowest common denominator
or men in prison who have never seen boobies before. I never thought
the naked breast could get boring, but presented here they are
non-arousing and a cheap add-on to any scene.
Early on, a Chinese prostitute (Ling Bai) attaches
herself to Statham for little reason, and she is discarded with
even less. In between, her comic relief role is to talk with a
thick, fake accent, then get hit by a car. Ho ho ho. Later, Statham
is reunited with a stripper ex-girlfriend (Amy Smart -- see, this
is where your career goes to die after you star in romantic comedies
opposite Ryan Reynolds), and for some retarded reason they fuck
on a horse track during a race in front of the stands full of
people (who we're told cheer for them). A side note: Smart must
have had a no-nudity clause in her contract because she wears
black tape over her nipples during her strip scene, surrounded
by women who are completely topless. The filmmakers could have
given her a different job, or some decent excuse to be covered
up, but I guess they said, "Ah, fuck it; it's too hard making
sense, so put some tape on her and shoot it like she's a dancer."
This shit purports to be funny, but it's just too fucking hateful
to laugh at. And I would advise getting a restraining order against
any man who does.
The whole electrical charge bullshit is a lazy
device, most likely generated by a bad plot device machine. It's
used arbitrarily. Statham has virtually no trouble electrocuting
himself when needed, and frequently skips the obvious and available
power sources so the movie can show him climbing utility poles
or hooking his nipples up to car batteries. One moment he can
recharge himself off a low-amperage car cigarette lighter, but
he never stoops to just plugging himself into the outlets that
are everywhere. I'm an idiot for even bothering to point out the
plot's inconsistencies, though. It would be as unending a task
as popping zits on a teen's face. Besides, the people who will
like this movie will say it's not about plot. It's supposed to
be mindless fun. I still don't understand that horseshit logic.
Why should anyone get let off the hook and excused for stupidity
when something can have just as much action and be a hell of a
lot more interesting if the filmmakers weren't allowed to play
the "mindless" card.
Crank: High Voltage's Chinese are called
chinks and slanty eyes. The blacks, gays and Mexicans don't fare
any better. Some may be offended by all the namecalling, but that's
exactly what Neveldine and Taylor want. They want you to think
they are breaking rules and being naughty. They aren't trying
very hard. Crank: High Voltage is like a Mountain Dew commercial
where: a little forbidden, but not really. All the insulting just
struck me as lazy, especially considering that the assholes insulting
each other have absolutely no personality written into them. They
just come across as dickweeds who insult each other because they're
in the same fraternity and it's their way of saying hello.
My biggest complaint with Crank: High Voltage
is not its mindlessness, calculated offensiveness or plotlessness.
It's that I just didn't give a fuck. It's like watching a porno
made up entirely of cum shots. I'm sure there's someone who gets
off on that, but most people like a little context, a little tease,
and a build up. It's relentless, derivative, tiresome and in-your-face
in its pleasure with being those things. But saying you're a vacuous
asshole doesn't make your being one any better. Neither does it
make that date's farts smell any less.
Crank: High Voltage is short and it features
loads of nudity, but it's still too damn long. Maybe it appeals
to video game losers who have little grasp on reality or to kids
with mental disorders that prevent them from getting along with
others. But otherwise, it's too little movie and too much bullshit.
Fuck this one finger piece of shit.
to tell Filthy Something?