Kellie’s a big Jason Statham fan, so when she found out about Crank: High Voltage a month ago, she jittered excitedly around the house for several days.
Unfortunately, she only got to see the first half hour because her boyfriend stormed out of the theatre after 30 minutes.
For those unfamiliar with the premise, Statham’s heart has been stolen and he has been implanted with a false one, the battery for which he must continually recharge with unlikely stunts such as tasing himself and jump-starting his chest with car cables. All this in order to stay alive long enough to get his heart back.
The first Crank movie followed a similar premise, opening with Statham having been drugged with a concoction that stops the flow of adrenaline in the body, slowing the heart and eventually killing the victim. Statham then spent the remainder of the movie trying to keep his adrenaline flowing so he could stay alive long enough to exact revenge.
The first movie was frenetically paced, violent, cringe-inducing and occasionally just brutal. Some scenes, for instance when he purposefully hot-waffle-irons his own hand, are hard to watch, as the directors seemed a bit too keen on realism at times. However, such uber-violent moments were few and far between and I rarely had to do more than turn my head away for a few seconds if things became unpalatable, and the action would move on.
I wasn’t as big a fan of the original movie as Kellie, but I thought it would be at least fun to see. Especially after I stumbled across this neat marketing whatsit called “Choose Your Own Crank” on Youtube. Watch the small video below, chose a mission by clicking, and it takes you to the next video according to your choice. Choose your own adventure a laYoutubes; pretty neat, I thought.
And that, I feel, is the only meritorious thing this movie has produced.
I do not generally walk out of movies, and I have never before asked for my money back. But in a half an hour I sat through several very unpleasant scenes which made me extremely uncomfortable, and by the time I stormed out into the lobby, demanding to see the managers I actually had the shakes. I had to mooch a smoke off Kellie on the walk home before I finally calmed down and I quit smoking in January!
Now, I realise I’m being somewhat hypocritical; I enjoy ‘violent’ movies as much as the next guy. But there are levels of acceptability. I’m okay with violence as a function of the plot. Violence for violence sake ? Not interested. That’s why I don’t watch Law & Order, or SVU or other ‘cop’ shows; I think there’s enough sadness in the world without Hollywood adding to the list of ways to creatively dismember other humans.
[Those of you with weak stomachs and strong imaginations, skip to the red text, I’m going to be graphic]
So after several increasingly unpleasant scenes, it became clear the movie was only interested in doing horrible things to people when a naked stripper took a shotgun blast full in the chest, stood there looking down at herself while the silicone in her breast implants exploded, watched it begin to turn bloody and only then did she fall over dead… I got up and left.
[It’s safe to come back now!]
I hesitate to make any proclamations about what constitutes ‘too much’ violence in movies or to tell you what’s right for you; it comes down to individual taste. But personally, Crank: High Voltage is one of those movies that makes me extremely sad that this is how humanity chooses to spend it’s time: sitting around stuffing our faces watching other humans being casually dismembered as if it’s nothing.
Don’t go see this movie. And tell your friends not to either.