Saturday, April 18, 2009

Crank: High Voltage (2009; M. Neveldine, B. Taylor)

Given the subject matter of Crank: High Voltage (2009), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the movie delivers its pleasures in jolts. What comes in between, though, is not so much boredom as impatience. Since we don’t come in expecting a steadily built narrative, it’s kind of annoying that we’re still forced into following a story. Most of the violent climaxes here are too funny to diminish them by calling them “scenes” and expecting them to “move the plot forward”. And yet that's what they do, often tediously.

With its less-than-gimmicky story and blunt disavowal of any emotional identification the viewer might want to feel, Crank... is a successful cartoon. It’s fun to see the action-film genre boiled down to its naked premise. Relentlessness has been made into a theme in Speed (1994), but in Crank... it’s the human who becomes the bus. He has to go on, otherwise the movie would end (there’s nothing besides movement to sustain it). Run, Chev, run!

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