Crank: High Voltage

  • Review Date: September 8, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2009

Common Sense Media says

Grisly, gory, over-the-top action-parody isn't for kids.
  • Review Date: September 8, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2009





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is is a vengeance-fueled tale of monstrous indifference toward human life and all possible dignity; while it's all done as an over-the-top exercise in excessive, stylized "fun," it's hard to imagine the satire being the main thing that audiences take away here.


Constant brutal, bloody violence; characters fall gruesomely from great heights and are shot (with brains, guts, and other gore splattering), beaten, battered, struck with batons and truncheons, stabbed, hit with stun guns and electric cattle prods, and more. Standout moments of extreme violence include the lead character repeatedly electrocuting himself to re-charge his artificial heart; a shootout in a strip club in which a woman is shot in her breast implants (which ooze and leak); the tip of a man's elbow being cut off with a machete as an act of torture; a woman being struck by a car; a man being beaten into submission, then having a shotgun forcibly shoved into his nether regions; a criminal cutting his own nipples off with a knife as an act of atonement, and a character literally burning alive. There's also extensive medical imagery related to the main character's heart condition.


Extensive nudity, including countless scenes featuring female breasts; some scenes show male buttocks, and there are even a few moments featuring animal genitalia. Sex scenes include lots of positions, with the
participants in front of a massed crowd. Scenes take place in a strip club, where topless women are ogled. They're also seen involved in mortal danger and bloody violence.


Constant strong language, including (but by no means limited to) "f--k," "motherf----r," 'c--t," "c--k," "c--ksucker," "s--t," "p---y," "p--s," "bastard," "dick," "bitch," "oh my God," "Jesus," "ass," "bulls--t," and more. Slurs like "beaner," "chink," "oriental" and the "N" word are used as well, as are "slut," "whore," "faggot," "vaginal," "gay," "pubes," "wanker," and more.


Some mentions of brands/products -- Mercedes, New Balance, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink beer, wine and liquor and smoke cigars and cigarettes. A supporting character's home is littered with prescription drug bottles.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this gory, envelope-pushing sequel to Crank is packed with grotesque, bloody, how-do-we-top-this? moments of extraordinary violence, conducted with a smirking, smug sense of bad-boy provocation. It ends up feeling a lot like the filmed version of a video game -- a violent, hyper-stylized, over-the-top game along the lines of Grand Theft Auto (i.e. not for kids). The entire movie is soaked in sex, violence, and slapstick -- often combining all three -- but it's hard to appreciate any of the "fun" amid all the grisly gore, partial nudity, nonstop swearing, and other mature content.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Following the events of Crank -- in which hit man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) seemingly fell to his death from a helicopter -- CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE picks up with Chelios waking after months in a coma to discover that his heart has been harvested for an aging Tong crimelord. Understandably upset -- and fitted with a temporary artificial heart -- Chelios goes on a rampage to get his heart back; of course, the limited battery capacity of his artificial unit means that he has to jolt himself with electricity on a regular basis to stay alive.

Is it any good?


The first Crank, for all of its excess, gory violence, and sex-obsessed misogyny, at least had the virtue of being unique, down to the fact that it killed its protagonist at the end of his misadventures. Bringing Chev Chelios back may make sense financially, but it somewhat dilutes the hell-bent-for-madness lunacy of the original film.

Statham certainly deserves kudos for hurling himself into the role, and director-writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor earn a few points for moments of mad invention (a fight between a hallucinating Chev and a Chinese gangster is shot and envisioned like a monster-on-monster battle from a '70s Japanese science fiction film, for one example). But familiarity breeds content -- or, in this case, shows contempt; the first Crank may have been shocking, but the only thing shocking about Crank: High Voltage is how far it's willing to go in the name of jolting the audience in pursuit of a quick buck.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in movies. Do you think movies have gotten more violent over the years? What's the impact of seeing these types of images? Is there any value in depicting violence in brutally realistic fashion, or is it all about shock value?

  • Families can also discuss the fine line between satirical, comedic

  • action/violence and going too far -- what happens when the audience

  • stops laughing? Who decides what "too far" is?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 17, 2009
DVD release date:September 8, 2009
Cast:Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Jason Statham
Directors:Brian Taylor, Mark Neveldine
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:frenetic strong bloody violence throughout, crude and graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language

This review of Crank: High Voltage was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 3 year old Written byerinmort December 16, 2009

dont waste your money

the first crank was ok but this was just stupid.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 17 year old Written byMr. Luke September 16, 2010

Perfect for... no one

This movie was extremely offensive even for adults. The content was so over-the-top vulgar and lascivious that if the story were actually interesting or believable, which it was not, then the way in which it was conveyed ruined it. Only watch this if you want essentially a porno with foul language and gory scenes mixed in.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byPlague December 15, 2009

Crank: High Voltage

No where near as good as the first one. More of a comedy than an action film in my opinion. Maybe worth watching once, but never again.


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