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Movie Review

Chev Chelios lost his heart in San Francisco.

Well, OK, so that's not technically correct. It was Los Angeles. And his heart wasn't so much lost as it was stolen—taken right from under his ribcage shortly after he fell from the sky and landed with a thud in the middle of town. You just can't park anything on an L.A. side street these days.

Needless to say, Chev's future looks a bit bleak. Oh, sure, the organ thieves did give him a replacement—a plastic, artificial heart they likely found on sale at Sam's Club—but it's not built for strenuous use. See, the heart's powered by a battery that gives the ticker a jolt of juice every now and then to keep it going. Until, of course, it loses power. Or is forcibly ripped out during an unfortunate automobile accident.

But those Sam's Club surgeons have thought of everything. The heart contains a small backup for just such emergencies. The catch: Its charge only lasts an hour. And that's if you don't use it to update your Facebook page or do a lot of texting or—

No, no, wait. That's my cell phone. Chev abuses his ticker in other ways, and he soon discovers that when the battery winds down, he needs to recharge it. But there's no plug and no adaptor.

Jumper cables are looking pretty good to him right about now.

Positive Elements

This film contains one sequence that is free of blood, gore, skin, sex and profanity. Length: about 90 seconds.

Spiritual Content

El Huron, one of the many bad guys at odds with Chev, talks about his dearly departed father, asking that "Jesus rest his soul."

Sexual Content

To keep moving, Chev must zap himself with a host of creative implements. But midway through the movie, he discovers that, in a pinch, static electricity will do the trick. "Find someone to rub against," Doc Miles tells him over the phone. And, since Chev's at a horse track, there's no lack of possible subjects.

Many of them, of course, object to Chev rubbing up against them—particularly an elderly woman whom Chev rubs all over from behind (she later describes the experience in graphic detail to a news crew). But when Chev's girlfriend, Eve, happens along, the static electricity really starts cooking: They kick things off in the stands, then fall onto the racetrack and, in the dirt, perform explicit sex acts in graphic fashion—so graphic that pretty much everybody at the track (and everybody watching from their movie theater seats) see nearly every part of their frenzied bodies. Eve climaxes as a horse hurdles over them, giving her an eyeful of its sexual organ.

Indeed, testicles—human and animal—snag significant screen time. As does female nudity. Through the course of the film, close to two dozen women appear topless. A few are completely nude. The women who are dressed wear clothes that cover very little. Nearly every onscreen female—the notable exception being the elderly lady—is a stripper, a prostitute or a porn star.

Really, this entire review could be consumed by me trying to document this film's sexual content. But there are so many other problematic areas to touch on, too, so a more generalized list will both suffice and protect you from the intimate details: Characters utter a bewildering array of obscene sexual expressions. Sexual perversions and even torture are exploited, laughed about and shown. Included are bloody wounds inflicted by anal sex, sodomy with a gun and lesbian fondling.

A female psychiatrist suggests to a patient—in extremely graphic terms—that he should find a woman of ill repute and have his way with her to get psychologically better. Eve performs at a strip club, substituting electrical tape for pasties. Chev's sidekick is a cross-dressing fellow named Venus who hangs out in what apparently is an underground gay club.

Violent Content

Chev slings so much lead in this second Crank flick that, really, the Environmental Protection Agency should've been notified. He shoots and kills dozens and dozens of people, sending blood flying like a lethal Jackson Pollock. But it's when he puts down his gun that things get really messy. He nearly kills someone by bashing his head in with a small cooler. He beats a gang kingpin to death. He smacks a cadre of police officers senseless. He impales someone with a big stick-like thing. And he punts the detached (but still living) head of an adversary into a swimming pool.

Chev shocks himself with electrical dog collars, car batteries and huge power lines, among other things. When he grabs the power lines, the shock sends him flying through the air and sets his body on fire. In his overcharged reverie, he sees a tag-along floozy and embraces her, setting her on fire as well. As she runs away, flaming and screaming, he turns toward the camera, laughing in maniacal glee as the skin melts off his face.

He also gets beaten up a few times—once by police wielding batons—falls from a ridiculously high height, is thrown through the windshield of a car, is stuffed in another car's trunk and is pelted repeatedly with a cat-o'-nine-tails.

Quack doctors operate on Chev twice, exposing his organs, splayed ribcage and ever-elusive heart. And it says a lot that compared to the rest of the film, his exposed, beating heart is one of the least gory things audiences see.

Elsewhere: A stripper is shot in the breasts—blood and fluid pour from them. A man is forced to cut off his nipples in an extremely graphic scene. Another man loses the tip of his elbow to a machete-wielding bad guy. Still another threatens to slap Eve across the face, but Eve beats him senseless before he can. "I'm in no mood today, Randy!" she hollers at him.

A car hits a prostitute. It's apparently supposed to be funny because after we see the sickening impact, the camera watches her red high heels fly into the sky while she screams offscreen. That scene comes around again, later, just 'cause the directors thought it was so funny the first time!

Crude or Profane Language

Close to 200 f-words. The s-word clocks in at 25. The c-word at three. Jesus' name is abused (it's even tangled up with the f-word), as is God's. There are mountains of crude and obscene descriptors of sexual organs and acts.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A bad 'un walks into Chev's first open-heart operation with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He blows smoke in Chev's face and dumps ash into his open chest cavity. During the second operation, a doctor pulls Chev's heart from a mini-fridge, knocking over a few bottles of beer in the process. Several characters drink. At least one smokes a cigar. After Chev shocks himself once, he says "it feels like crack."

Other Negative Elements

Characters spew out all manner of racial and homosexual slurs. Raw fun is made of people who suffer from Tourette syndrome. Chev steals at least three cars and unsuccessfully tries to swipe another. As a child, he berates his mother, confesses that all he does is play video games, admits to selling his Ritalin, steals a cash register and beats another child with a garbage can. As an adult, Chev soils his pants.


I hope, dear reader, you've read enough. Ideally, I'd like to end this review without writing another word about it—because frankly, the less we say about Crank: High Voltage, the better—but I'm sure my editor will expect me to sum things up somehow.

So let me type just one last word to put the proverbial period on this sequel's serious waste of electricity:


Pro-social Content

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Summary Advisory

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Readability Age Range



Jason Statham as Chev Chelios; Amy Smart as Eve; Efren Ramirez as Venus; Clifton Collins Jr. as El Huron; Ling Bai as Ria; Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles; David Carradine as Poon Dong


Mark Neveldine ( )Brian Taylor ( )





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On Video

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Paul Asay

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