When you watch a Neveldine and Taylor film, you're signing up for bloodshed, vicious violence, and offensive content mixed with some excellently timed and seriously dodgy off-colour humour.
This is all of the above.
After Jason Statham's relentlessly determined survivor (and professional hit-man) cockney Chev Chelois seemingly died at the end of Crank, this starts in typically absurd fashion, with him being scooped off the tarmac with a shovel no less (see what I mean about the humour?) and bundled into a van. Next thing we know he's surrounded by mysterious bad guys hoping to harvest bits of his anatomy and the madness starts from there.
As fans of the first film will know, these stories are all about perpetual motion - if Chelios stops for too long he'll die. This time it's electricity that's needed, which leads to several gruesome moments, and a fair few very funny ones too. It also means we get non-stop careening from action scene to action scene, with a great deal of swearing and extreme violence. Amy Adams is back as his tolerant, loyal and faintly slutty girlfriend in a great role, and is joined by some of the original cast in roles that are used well, as well as a host of new faces.
Some of the gags are extremely juvenile, but they work because the film wears its colours extremely prominently on its sleeve. Inspired by the style of computer shoot-em-ups, it'll appeal to the same age group and mindset, with gradually increasing levels of bad guys and frequent 'health regeneration' moments.
Statham is hilarious and has a ball as the foul-mouthed sociopathic killer, as he staggers around from gunfight to gunfight followed by a trail of psychotic hookers, bizarre friends and carnage. As a result of the sheer insanity, it's enjoyably unpredictable, but it also makes little sense as a script and is better enjoyed as a crazed, unstable couple of hours of sheer fun.
The film itself isn't as inspired or funny as the first, although it certainly tries to match it for violence, and the set pieces aren't quite as good (especially a rubbish comedy Godzilla-style rip-off moment that looks like it was filmed for afternoon children's TV) but it has one of the most over-the-top endings imaginable. In fact it's hard to see where they could go with it from here. Although isn't that what we said last time...?