20
Apr 09

A Luxurient Bubble Bath Of – er – Shit

Do You See + FT1 comment • 308 views

If the four previous films I saw over the Easter weekend made up a long, but definite shower of shit, it is difficult to categorise Crank 2: High Voltage. Because, yes, on many levels it too is shit. But it knows that going in, and therefore has no excuses about that. Whilst it spends nearly every minute of its running time being nihilistically violent, offensive, sexist, racist, homophobic and eyeachingly difficult to watch, it embraces all of these things with such gusto that it is hard to actually be offended. Jason Statham’s Chev Chelios is a force of nature, like a hurricane, and whilst none of his actions are in anyway justifiable there is an inexorable charm to his gonzo adventures (and the fact that the villains are even more cartoonishly evil). Indeed Chev is not evil, you just get the feeling he wants to be left alone.

There is no point cataloguing the succession of ridiculous stuff that happens in Crank or its sequel. However it is worth noting that the films do use every trick in the book to make the film transcend their small budgets and giant if reprehensible ambitions. So Google Earth, 8-bit game graphics, giant rubber suits, throwaway digital cameras, slide shows, eighties talk shows, Spice Girls, porn stars, lubrication, cyborg, throwaway heads, surprisingly few explosions, and the truth of what happens if you try and to skateboarding tricks without a skateboard.

There is also a nice revisiting of cockney rhyming slang, especially via plenty of of phrases which as a lifelong Londoner I have never heard. “Cheese and Brocolli indeed”. Not every film should be like the Cranks, but one every now and then reminds you that sometimes cinema should just be sleazy and visually inventive even if the effect is a bottom scrapping action film. Just because you are aiming at the lowest common denominator, doesn’t mean you can’t elevate that to High Art. This is what all the lousy films I saw over Easter forgot. They didn’t do anything new. Crank for all of its horrors, is an hour and a half of inventively horrific nonsense, and you could do a lot worse than an hour and a half in its company. Especially if you are easily offended.

Comments

  1. 1
    Tommy Mack on 6 Apr 2015 #

    To borrow a phrase off Charlie Brooker, it’s brilliant, it’s awful, it’s brawful. Even brawfuller than the first Crank film, if Crank 2 was a band, it would be Kiss: puerile content but winningly creative bravura presentation!

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