And then there are films like "Crank – High Voltage". I remember actually enjoying "Crank" because is was an incredibly fast-paced film (most of the story is revealed in grunts as Jason Statham's Chev Chellos barrels through the story) and was strangely "off". All of the characters were more bad than good and everyone was looking out for himself.
But now, after seeing "High Voltage", I am wondering if I am remembering the first film too fondly.
Picking up where the last film ended, literally, we watch as Chev drops out of a plane and hits a car on a Los Angeles street. The guy he was fighting with lands on the pavement nearby, dead. Chev is still alive, but barely. Then a van pulls up and a bunch of Chinese gang members pull Chev inside. Later, he wakes up in a brothel with Chinese doctors standing around him, admiring their handiwork. They have removed his heart and replaced it with an artificial model that runs on a battery, which they have conveniently strapped, to his chest. He makes an escape and soon learns he needs to constantly re-charge the battery, so he applies jumper cables and the like to his tongue. But he also wants to find the Chinese gang leader who stole his heart and begins to battle his way through the streets, following leads and working towards his goal. A group of Latino gang members are also on the hunt. And Chev runs into (Amy Smart) who is working at a strip club. She rejoins him for part of the ride.
"High Voltage" is such a waste of time I find it difficult to adequately explain why.
And I really am beginning to wonder what I found so 'fun' in the first film.
In "High Voltage", the filmmakers take no time to explain who Chev is, so I guess they are assuming only people who have seen the first entry will spend any money to see this second installment in the saga of Chelios. Honestly, I forget what Chev is, so I didn't have a clue as I sat there watching Statham careen through one set of bad guys after another.
Because Statham is always moving, it is all but impossible for him to do anything but grunt or shout. When his new artificial heart begins to slow down, he pauses, and looks groggy for a few seconds until he spots some new source of electrical current.
Amy Smart appears for about twenty minutes, entering the story on the weakest of pretenses, hanging on Chev's arm as he tries to outrun the current crop of bad guys and then disappears, popping up again for no specific reason.
Clifton Collins Jr. ("Capote", "Sunshine Cleaning") pops up at the end of the film in a role that is such a ludicrous caricature I am surprised we haven't heard from any Latino Rights groups. But maybe they are doing the smart thing and standing by the sidelines, letting this film die a quick death. If they were to protest, they would only bring attention to this film and lengthen the life of this piece of trash.
Dwight Yoakam returns as Chev's friend, a disgraced doctor who helps Chev navigate the treacherous waters of his newest ailment. His character is depraved and clearly enjoys his newfound status as an outcast of society. In "High Voltage", he spends much of his time licking, touching or caressing the near naked buttocks of an African American prostitute.
David Carradine also makes an appearance as a Chinese gang boss. Honestly, his appearance is more laughable than anything else as he is made up to look like his character from "Kung Fu" but as a senior citizen.
Just rehashing all of this has left a bad taste in my mouth.
Consider yourself warned.