Crank 2: High Voltage (2009) - Fully Charged [Blu-ray]
|Lions Gate || R - 95 minutes - $39.99 || September 8, 2009|
|Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-08-24|
Writer(s): Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor (written by)
Cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, Efren Ramirez, Ling Bai
Theatrical Release Date: April 17, 2009
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Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is still alive after falling from the helicopter from the last flick, and this one picks up right where the last one left off. His eye still blinks, signifying that somehow, someway, heís still alive and his body is whisked away by another gang heís managed to tick off in his life. Heís knocked out cold for about a month, and he wakes up with an artificial heart that is powered by electricity (instead of adrenaline, like in the previous installment) that was put in by the opposing gangís doctors. His real heart is given to Johnny Vang (Art Hsu) and some surgeons come in to collect Cheliosís remaining parts, including his male organ thatís unique to that gender.
He wakes up and kicks the living organ out of the two surgeons and runs out, but not before killing at least 10 henchmen. As he leaves, he manages to pin one down by shoving a shotgunÖ letís just say somewhere the sun wonít be shining on the poor guy for a while. He gets the name Johnny Vang and finds out heís hanging out at some strip club, to which he heads to next.
The strip club turns out to be some crappy house, where Chelios saves Ria (Ling Bai) from a big fat guy who is trying to have sex with her. It turns out the house is somewhat of a brothel, and he runs in there, kills a bunch more people (which sadly isnít shown) and then escapes with Ria to find Vang. This time it does take them to a real strip club, where Eve (Amy Smart), his chick from the last flick, is working as a stripper with some loser boyfriend. Chelios manages to tick off even more people at the club, and gets into another gun war with Vangís gang members. As his heart is slowing dying, he needs to find his old heart to get put back in him right away, or else its lights out for him.
This movie is almost exactly the same as the previous one, but there are a few differences. First off, thereís an incredibly amount of nudity and violence involved in this one compared to the first. I only remember a few parts of nudity, while this one has it nearly every five minutes. The violence is also (pardon the term) off the hook, as gun bullets pass through organs, shotguns shoved up places, items wrenched in the henchman's chest, and other various ways of people dying (including getting run over by cars, twice). Iím a big fan of violence in cinema, but even I found this to be slightly over the top, even for a Crank film.
Second and third for the differences, the characters that return from the film are shown in a few background shots and then promptly killed off for the most part. Iím not sure exactly what the reason is for bringing some of them back, and showing them in their past history from the first film is annoying. If you were a fan of the first one, obviously youíll know who they are. I found it to be a little bit of an insult to get treated to several flashback scenes, but it only bugged me a slightly. There is a bunch of returning characters, but I donít think many of them will be returning for another installment, as I said before, they all pretty much die.
I also had a problem with the ending, as it is downright ridiculous. Granted, the last twenty or so minutes are action packed (as is most of the film) it just borderlines on insanity. It is a thrilling adventure for Chelios, but darned if Iím wrong by saying that the ending is just too out there to even reasonably find believable. If you thought landing from a helicopter and surviving was too out there, you havenít seen anything yet.
All in all though, Crank 2: High Voltage is a fun and thrilling ride that is enjoyable, violent, and provides laughter in one near-perfect flick. As long as you can disregard the lack of a decent ending and the misuse of some of the characters brought back, you will likely find this more enjoyable than or just as fun as the previous installment.
Commentary by Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine: This is near the exact same thing as the exclusive provided below, so I suggest watching that instead of bothering with this commentary that just goes over the film with nothing going on in the background. Iím pretty sure it says the same info as the below exclusive as well, so just skip this.
Making of Crank 2 (51 minutes): This is comprised of multiple parts, each with different ideas behind each part. This is incredibly awesome to have this big of an exclusive, as the making of the flick is fun, entertaining, and insightful all rolled into one. The cast and crew doing the stunts are neat, and what they have to say is too.
Finally, for people like me, a Digital Copy is available for use with i-Pods! Yipppppy!
** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES **
PIP Commentary by Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine: The directors as well as the writers for the film join forces on a funny commentary that is boasting in two different formats: Picture-In-Picture as well as a mini screen in the bottom right corner. The ďHigh VoltageĒ mode shows you tons of behind the scenes things, as well as interviews with the crew of the movie. This is the ultimate commentary in my opinion, and I hope in the future ALL commentaries are like this.
Wrap Party Gag Reel (3 minutes): Some funny moments behind the scenes are shown and similar to the other features this is entertaining, although one of the scenes had me nearly gagging from being grossed out.
Crank 2 Take 2 (4 minutes): Neveldine and Taylor point out tons of the goof-ups found in the film, such as the camera being visible and other crew members who wander onto set. I never caught any of these while watching the flick and this is short so take a gander as it is pretty funny to see these mess-ups.
Lionsgate Live: Your standard BD-Live feature that lets you go inside Lionsgate for some neat things, such as the weather in your area, updated news, and also the time. I must say, this is honestly the nicest and most kick-arse movie setup screen Iíve seen in a really long time. You can also publish what movies you are watching currently on Twitter and Facebook. Thereís also a bar above the menu icons that updates you on current things, such as previous Lionsgate Films that earn high-rankings in audio, new movies coming out, as well as other fascinating things.
There are also Bookmarks available to, well, bookmark your favorite scenes in the film for quick reference and you can also view the filmís trailer if you so choose too.
Sadly though, it says there is a Molog feature available, but for the life of me I could not find it. Perhaps it will be updated on the release date (the 8th) but as of now itís unavailable.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Picture freaking perfect. Thereís no other way to describe this release. I have always found the opening sequence with the gears with the Lionsgate logo that follows shortly to be the best out of all the studios, and this release showcases why. Itís gorgeous beyond belief. Thatís only the first thirty or so seconds of the film, then you are treated to one of the best transfer to hit Blu-Ray so far this year. Colors are incredibly vibrant, bright, and just the right tones the entire flick. Flesh tones? Perfect. Background? Exactly the right amount of detail to be completely and utterly fascinated with. Grain? Not present, and if it was, I didnít notice it at all. This is by far demo material in terms of video.
Audio freaking perfect. That didnít make as much sense as the previous statement above, but itís still very true. From start to finish (and yes, even the opening gears scene) this showcases how a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track should and does sound. Surround sound is used extensively, and the levels are perfect. There were a few times where even I jumped from the loud gun noises or the characters booming dialogue, but thatís not a bad thing at all. I never expected a track like this one, and I am pleasantly happy to report that this is the new demo material for September and upcoming months. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this track, unless of course you hate perfect audio.
Despite the fact I have issues with the story, this is a must-have for anyone who owns a Blu-Ray player. The technical package is beyond recognition, and will provide you with the perfect movie to showcase your stereo system as well as your television. The special features are also out of this world, with a phenomenal commentary, an incredibly awesome menu, and other goodies that will keep you happy for a long time. Crank 2: High Voltage is a must-buy.