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Death Race

A movie directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

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  • May 3, 2010

This is for those who don't know another remake that was put out there, but unlike most I was actually excited about this one. I knew that this was one that needs the brain shut off and that really won't have character development, but that is ok. The thing that I was happy about is that the original films legendary producer Roger Corman returns as a producer on this film, that's enough for me. I know some people were worried because Paul W.S. Anderson is the writer/director of this film, but he is an action director and on that level he succeeds. Still this is a remake and with that there will always be disappointments, when watching this I felt like they missed a lot of opportunities. By that I mean this could have been a mindless, fun, and wonderfully violent EPIC film, instead it is the first three and just a decent flick.

After 2008 the economy started to fall through [yikes that is kinda happening] and the crime rate rises while every one losses their jobs. This sets things up for prisons to be very corrupt and very full, makes things interesting. At one prison in particular the warden has a little reality show on the internet called "DEATH RACE". An event that pits inmate against inmate in a race to the finish line, the only problem is you may be finished before you get there. Why do the inmates agree to do it you ask, well because if the win 5 times [I think is the number] you win your freedom. Yeah that sounds great for the population a crazy prisoner gets released from jail into the public after killing other prisoners live on a show, break out the welcome wagon.

It seems a racer named Frankenstein [David Carradine from the original for a quick cameo] is killed right before he wins his freedom, seems he was the fan favorite and Warden Hennessey needs him back in the races. So she sends out a prisoner to frame a famous former race car driver named Jensen Ames, it looks like he killed his wife so he goes to jail only to become the new Frankenstein. Of course he doesn't want to but he needs to be freed to see his daughter, so at least that much makes sense. So we are off to the races I guess to a fun filled violent experience to see who will win it, I mean it will be a close race. Jason Statham has driven many a fast car and Tyrese was "2 Fast 2 Furious" so it should be close.

This film is far from the original mainly because the first film is such a classic amongst the Corman fans like myself, but to be honest this is a new film for a new day and Roger did sign off on it. I find this film to be a really good buddy film, and I don't mean like a buddy cop movie or anything like that. I mean this film is best viewed eating and drinking with your friends; you can all get just as loud as the film and have a mindless good time. My brother, my girl, and a few others all enjoyed this and I think it was because of the atmosphere, good times had by all. Don't get me wrong you can enjoy this at any time but that is best way to watch this type of film I believe.

As far as the direction it is pretty straightforward, it is all centered around the action and that is fine since it doesn't try to be anything else. Anderson does a good job here as far as that aspect is concerned but don't expect a lot of character development. The deaths are really cool at least in my opinion even if there some over the top moments, but with a title like Death Race what do you expect. The cars are fun and match the atmosphere and look of the film and the action is solid, also The Dreadnought is a cool killing machine but it comes and goes to quick I think. Jason Statham is excellent in the lead role and really I felt he was the best guy for this type of flick. Tyrese though is another story because I just didn't see him in this, he did a great job with his character and maybe because of the lack of script he just seemed, I don't know. Joan Allen on the other hand I felt was great in this and made for a believable villain, I wanted to say something else. Natalie Martinez is decent in this and Ian McShane as Coach is very good in this as well.

To me this was a fun film although far from a classic it is still good enough in my opinion for a rental at least. I bought it as to continue owning all things Corman, don't have everything yet but I will get there eventually. Like I said before order some pizza crack open a few drinks [whatever you sip on] and watch this with you friends. It is a good time if you turn off the brain; at least I had fun with it.

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May 28, 2010
Remakes are almost a sin as far as I'm concerned, but more power to people like you who are capable to accepting them for what they are and enjoying them anyhow.
May 03, 2010
I actually like your review better than mine. Mine was a mess--need to re-write it! LOL Thanks for the review! Hope you're enjoying the community!
May 04, 2010
Nah man your stuff is always great WP, a re-write is not in order. Your reviews as always are excellent.
More Death Race reviews
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 …
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I basically am just a normal person obbsessed with Mixed Martial Arts, pro wrestling, movies of all kinds, music of all kinds, books of all kinds, and of course foods of all kinds. Just trying to keep … more
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About this movie


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 ...
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Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: 22 August 2008 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Runtime: USA: 111 min(unrated version)
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