The Violent Crime Thriller On Netflix Stars Jason Statham As His Greatest Character

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

jason statham crank

Jason Statham stars in Crank 2: High Voltage, now streaming on Netflix, a film for which the star has been praised for his performance as possibly his best character. Released in 2009, the film was written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the duo responsible for the original Crank from 2006. Taylor and Neveldine have made several films together, including Jonah Hex and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

Jason Statham Returns To His Role As Chev Chelios In Crank: High Voltage

Also called Crank: High Voltage, Crank 2 features a cast that includes, along with Statham, Amy Smart, Clifton Collins Jr., Efren Ramirez, Bai Ling, David Carradine, and Dwight Yoakam. Statham stars as Chev Chelios, a former hitman who survives what should have been a fatal accident, only to be kidnapped by Chinese gangsters who remove his heart. That might also seem like it should be the end for Chelios, but the gangsters replace his heart with an artificial organ that is made to keep him alive for one hour.

In Crank 2, Chelios Has Just One Hour To Save His Own Life

Chelios then spends the rest of Crank 2: High Voltage keeping himself alive by constantly recharging the device implanted in his chest as he seeks his real heart in order to have it reinserted into his body, as one does. If the concept of this film sounds ridiculous, that should come as no surprise, as Neveldine and Taylor also initially saw it the same way since the character of Chev Chelios had died at the end of the original film.

Nevertheless, Lionsgate did approach them to make a sequel and, while they originally agreed to only write the film, they fell in love with the story during the writing process and decided to return to the directors’ chairs once again.

The Sequel Is Just As Wild As The First Movie

The over-the-top nature of Crank 2: High Voltage is rooted in the exaggerated reality of the original, but takes things one step further, or perhaps a few steps. Neveldine and Taylor had an easier time writing the sequel than they did the original, they said, because they were able to return to the same location for the story and bring some of the same characters back from the first movie.

They also took the opportunity to write the dialogue of Statham’s character intentionally in the British vernacular with which he spoke in the first film, which was a change from the original movie’s script.

Crank 2: High Voltage changed in this way because the original film was written for an American actor, though Jason Statham‘s casting had a distinct effect on how the dialogue appeared on screen. Keeping Statham’s voice, accent, and patterns of speech in mind helped the pair write the character in a way that better suited their lead actor’s tendencies. For his part, Statham was eager to return to the role and was excited by how outlandish and over-the-top the sequel was shaping up to be.

High Voltage Is Full Of Insane Over-The-Top Action

jason statham

That’s the fun of Crank 2: High Voltage—it’s not a film that takes itself too seriously or is hampered by fidelity to real-world physics. Instead, the movie plays fast and loose with the laws of nature from its very conception, allowing the audience to suspend disbelief and follow Statham down a rabbit hole of intense action and extreme violence. That violence received a lot of criticism upon the film’s initial release and will not be appealing to everyone, but for those who enjoy high-action films with brutal violence, there are plenty of treats of that variety in store.

The Film Was Shot In 31 Days

Crank 2: High Voltage was shot in a fairly brief 31 days, with production beginning on April 28, 2008, and wrapping on June 9, 2008. To achieve the distinctive look of the highly kinetic action sequences, Neveldine and Taylor joined cinematographer Brandon Trost as camera operators, using high-end HD camcorders instead of bulky film cameras for much of the shoot. The lighter-weight equipment allowed them to shoot in many ways that would not otherwise have been possible, including filming while skating on Rollerblades.

Crank 2 Is Streaming On Netflix

jason statham crank

Though Crank 2: High Voltage is certainly not for everyone, its over-the-top nature should not be taken too seriously and makes it an attractive escape for fans of high action that doesn’t demand much in terms of believability. Statham relishes the bizarre nature of the film and the role, giving a performance that capitalizes on the intensity of the action and the ridiculousness of the concept. If you’re interested in seeing one of his generation’s greatest action stars in a role that helped define him, you can stream Crank 2: High Voltage on Netflix right now.