Saturday, April 18, 2009

Crank: High Repulsion

Seeing as I don't watch television, I really didn't know what Crank: High Voltage was about--but I figured it was some sort of action flick (which I love) involving a tolerable amount of hyper-masculinity and distasteful but limited female subjugation. I was terribly mistaken.

The extreme polarization of stoic, hyper-aggressive and reckless masculinity coupled with the humiliation and physical abuse of women as strippers and prostitutes was both embarrassing and horrifying as an American. More mystifying was the uproar of male laughter during scenes of ultimate female degradation, e.g. physically abusing a prostitute or sexually exploiting women. By the way, I do have an appreciation for the physical form, but not when it exclusively and disproportionately parades the female body naked/scantily cladden under male dominance, as the object of exclusively male pleasure and property, and with no counter-acting sexualization of the male body--with a complete disregard for female pleasure ta boot.

It could be argued that in one sex scene the leading female actress was receiving mutual and consensual sexual pleasure--then she was literally thrown off the main character's cock into the mud, hosed down with water, and humiliated before thousands of spectators.

Other themes to ponder include homophobia, ethnocentrism (particularly the mockery of Asians), ableism and animal abuse.

Three things really struck me:
1) The destructive model of hyper-masculinity found praiseworthy by males and young boys
2) Audible and overwhelming male laughter at the expense, humiliation, and abuse of women.
3) Women accompanying and finding acceptable the amusement and laughter of their (presumably) boyfriends during scenes of female degradation.

Yes, yes...this is "just a movie." However, these models are internalized and contribute to greater normalizing of hyper-regulated and hyper-gendered bodies--at the expense of more well-rounded, well-adjusted, emotionally balanced and safer individuals and communities (not to mention more authentic and diverse self-expression).


Anonymous said...

Had you seen the first one, I think you would have known what to expect. The movie (series, now) aims for exactly the qualities you decry, in the sense of taking any given action movie trope and exaggerating it hugely.

Personally, I think it goes so far over the top as to be in either (anti)social reaction or satire territory, take your pick, and I find myself almost categorically unoffended by either. YMMV, of course.

Vanessa said...

I had never seen the first one.

Whether its intent is satirical or anti-social, within my movie theater experience, I would say the film was internalized and normalized by most of the viewers.

Anonymous said...

The movie is intentionally ridiculous, I think anyone with an open mind would clearly see that. Obviously the movie is gearded towards a male audience (read:boobies), I don't think any part of it at all is taken seriously. It's odd that you just skipped the first one, but even my most uptight male-hating friends could appreciate the movie for what it was.

Anonymous said...

[url= ]venta de viagra en espana[/url] [url= ]vendo viagra online[/url] [url= ]comprar viagra en espana[/url] [url= ]venta de viagra online[/url] [url= ]vendo viagra [/url] [url= ] cialis [/url]