First there was Crank, an over the top action film that reminded the viewer of Grand Theft Auto. Thought the movie didn't do overly well theatrically, it did well enough on DVD to merit a sequel. And hence this masterpiece was born.
I was immediately reminded of the work of Takashi Miike, particularly the beginning and end sequences from Dead or Alive. Crank: High Voltage is like a feature length version of those scenes, keeping the energy and insanity throughout it's entire running time. And much like another great sequel, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, though it always keeps the pedal to the metal, it never becomes tiresome. That's partly because it stars Jason Statham, the best action star out there today, who seldom could be accused of being a pretty boy. Granted, he doesn't have the rugged, hard assed features of a Charles Bronson or Lee Marvin, but he's got charisma and believability when it comes to kicking ass. Even in his worst films he is quite watchable. What also helps the film is it's unpredictability. Whereas the first part may have been outrageous, it stayed grounded in reality for the most part. Crank 2 is batshit crazy. For the audience members who said, "Yeah right" when Statham fell out of a helicopter, made a phone call, landed on a car and survived in the first part, they're throat will get sore from saying "As if" every 5 seconds for it's complete running time. The sequel could give a rat's ass about realism and is all the better for it. The first Crank was certainly entertaining, but this one is swinging for the fences, and for the most part succeeds. Another factor is the stellar soundtrack by Mike Patton. Though it is very much in the forefront and demands attention, it never gets in the way of the film, but only enhances it. During a recurring musical theme, Statham himself starts whistling along to the soundtrack, somewhat recalling Eliot Gould singing along to the score of The Long Goodbye (could have I picked 2 films more further in tone?)