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Review

‘Crank High Voltage’ uses quick action sequences, may be offensive to some

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April 23, 2009

Disclaimer: This review is about quite possibly the most bizarre action film ever created. “Crank High Voltage” is a film that truly lives up to its title, throws away the rules of conventional action films and their sequels and turns what should just be a standard action film into something that is a surreal and possibly disturbing experience for all those involved.

The film has an interesting set of technical choices made for it, a series of awesome action sequences and, last but certainly not least, enough things to offend most audiences without even batting an eye.

Unlike most movies where there is an elaborate plot that twists and turns as the movie goes on, this film just runs with its original concept until it has beaten, bloodied and all but destroyed its audiences. The film moves so quickly, even faster than the original “Crank” if one had thought that to be possible, that the 90-minute runtime seems to only last roughly five minutes, and that is one of the key things to making the film work.

The editing of all these shots is so rapid fire that Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream” looks as if it had the pacing of “The English Patient.” The editing and quickness of the film is what truly makes it work.

Another thing of mention is that although the majority of the flick follows Chev Chelios’ newest set of incredibly violent events, there are a number of the things in the movie that turn it into a whole new type of movie. There are numerous parts that feel like skits throughout the film, that actually allow the audience to breathe until they generally erupt into laughter or cries of terror at the end of them. A few examples would be news broadcasts that air throughout the film, a flashback of a young Chev on a fake TV show and a Godzilla fight complete with bad costumes. These parts of the movie do detract from the overall feel of the film generally, but they are what make the movie truly unique.

The action of the film, much like the original, occurs at about the rate of synapses firing in the audience. Much like most modern action movies, rather than focus on plot or character, the filmmakers did in fact just throw in as many violent and gruesome images as possible to keep the audience from thinking about how ridiculous what they are viewing truly is. It once again is what makes this film work, but only for its very small and select audience. Most people will find the movie to be just another exercise in the mindless, but if one can appreciate how well these mindless scenes are sliced together, they will get more into it.

Finally, the juicy part of this whole Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em movie experience: The fact that this movie has almost something to offend everyone. The film does indeed go out of its way to find things that will offend anyone, even though there is no use for them to actually be in the movie. I personally applaud the filmmakers for taking this approach; however I am not an easily offended person. If any of the following in film bother you, do not see this movie: sodomy, public lewd conduct, rampant nudity, extreme brutal violence, homophobic language and last but certainly not least, a nod to bestiality. Yeah, it has all of that and more.

The film will work for about 10 percent of the general American audience, and the other 90 will either be outraged or at least wishing they hadn’t spent their money. I personally loved this movie, but to be fair, my rating will reflect the average audience, so you can truly judge for yourself. But once again, this movie is not for everyone, but those who enjoy this sort of carnage, it is a movie masterpiece.

2.5 stars

Nathan Piotrowski is a digital film and television major with a film studies minor. In his spare time, he attempts to be a professional lottery winner.