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Mayhem rules inDeath Race, a head-over-heels remake of the Roger Corman cult classicDeath Race 2000, in which cars become lethal weapons. The strength of this new version is its total single-mindedness about vehicular homicide; it has the virtue of no cluttering subplots or simpering sentimentality. And banish all memory of the original's wild satirical comedy:Death Raceis as grim as a dinner tray to the face (a reference that will be explained in a key sequence). In a slightly futuristic maximum-security prison, cons take part in brutal races around the island prison, their violent deaths watched live by millions of viewers. Jason Statham, possibly cast because of his driving dexterity in theTransportermovies, plays a man wrongly imprisoned for murder. Joan Allen provides her brittle cool as the warden, who recruits Statham to assume the masked persona of a legendary driver called Frankenstein. Tyrese Gibson is Frankie's main rival, Natalie Martinez provides the fetching eye candy, but the acting honors go to Ian McShane, as the philosophical prison mechanic. One misses the cross-country race from the original film, as the setting here is claustrophobic and the cars are largely colorless and indistinguishable from each other. Director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) continues to display the sensibility of a video-game addict, which will either be a recommendation or a turn-off, depending on your own tastes. At least it doesn't have the hypocritical moral blathering of something like the somewhat similar Condemned--who knew you could be so grateful for simple, straight-forward head-bashing? --Robert Horton
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CastIan McShane, Max Ryan, Frederick Koehler, Tyrese Gibson, Jacob Vargas, Jason Clarke, Jason Statham, Natalie Martinez, Justin Mader
DirectorPaul W.S. Anderson
Genre:  Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date:  22 August 2008 (USA)
MPAA Rating:  R
Screen WriterPaul W.S. Anderson
Runtime:  USA: 111 min(unrated version)
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review by . January 23, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Jason Statham, awesome. If you liked him in The Transporter, Crank, his driving movies, you'll enjoy him in this film. The problem with this film overall is that it tries to be almost a video game, super mario gets power ups, people get shot at constantly but don't die, cars are almost superheros, our hero lead character sets his car to "no damage, easy play level." It's actaully kind of annoying.    The Mad Max homage is huge, he drove a Jensen Interceptor. Jason Statham's name …
Lunch Average Rating: +2.8 (22 ratings)
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