Neveldine and Taylor: Pushing the Envelope with Crank 2

Crank 2: High Voltage

One of the major draws of the first Crank film, co-written and directed by the eccentric tandem of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, was the high octane, fast-paced motion that put the audience in the same heightened state of movement as Chev Chelios, played by Jason Statham. Throughout the 87 minutes of blistering pace and excitement, audience members had little time to breath, let alone pick through all of the actioner cliches and gaping plot holes. For adrenaline junkies and action nuts alike, it was a 90 minute euphoric roller-coaster ride unlike anything they had seen before.

Synthetic Heart from Crank 2So you can imagine that when the duo known as Neveldine/Taylor decided to tag the sequel with the name Crank 2: High Voltage, they would somehow need to find a way to kick things up a notch. To do so, they have brought the previously dead Chev back with a synthetic heart (seen to the right courtesy of our friends at Latino Review) that must be jump started every so often in order to keep him alive. It may seem a bit far-fetched, but hey, this is Crank we are talking about.

As well, our friends at Collider found out that the action will be enhanced by some feverish camera work, courtesy of some products that can be picked up at your local Best Buy. Mark and Brian told Collider that they were using the Canon XH-A1 (retail $3,500) and the Canon HF10 (retail under $1,000) as their primary cameras rather than the traditional 35mm. In some scenes, they have used up to 12 different cameras at once. They have even gone as far as to put random cameras on the floor to get some increasingly crazy angles.

As Neveldine explains, this allows the two visionary directors to go places that even The Wachowskis haven’t gone:

“…we can put these cameras in places that people haven’t and we can put 10 of them in places where people haven’t. And one of the things it allows us to do is…we’re doing this moving bullet time camera rig where we take 8 HF-10’s and we put it on a light weight piece of speed rail and I can roller blade and skate around Jason Statham as he’s blasting down the street with a weapon and capture just rad images.”

Canon XH-A1 Camera used on Crank 2And for those who are quickly thinking about the home video look of Cloverfield as an example, Taylor explains that you are getting ahead of yourself a little bit:

It doesn’t look like “Cloverfield”. It’s not supposed to look like home video. It’s going to look like a movie, but it’s going to look like a movie you’ve never seen before.

If you ask me, this is the most ridiculous and amazing thing I have ever seen. Say what you want about the mindless entertainment that comes from a movie like Crank, but you can’t escape the fact that it was one wild-ass ride. There has to be something to it for a film that had a budget of only $12 million to gross over $40 million worldwide.

As well, it is always refreshing to see filmmakers who aren’t afraid to push the envelope. Since breaking onto the scene with Crank, Neveldine and Taylor have been putting into play some badass concepts, including their intensely sensual, deeply disturbing medical thriller Pathology and the over-the-top Gerard Butler star vehicle Game, which is also due out in 2009, months apart from Crank 2: High Voltage. These guys are a real trip, both on screen and in person, and there is no doubt in my mind that their films will continue to find an audience. At least, they will be getting $10 from me every time they release a film.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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