Death Race Paul W.S. Anderson

Death Race Paul W.S. Anderson
Yes, Death Race is another "re-imagining," if you will. And, as with most of these types of parasitic films plundering from motion pictures past, it fails to live up to the greatness of the original Death Race 2000. However, it's not as horrific as some tripe Hollywood has regurgitated, if one forgets Roger Corman's 1975 B-movie classic. This is intended to be a blockbuster: minimal plot, lots of action. And that's about it. Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) is an ex-con/race car driver struggling to change his life but he has a bad day when the steel mill closes and he's framed for the murder of his wife. Ames winds up in the maximum-security prison that hosts the nationally televised Death Race, where inmates are pitted against each other in weapon-toting vehicles, fighting to gain their freedom. Ratings equal big bucks for the prison and Warden Hennessey (Joan Allen). Hennessey has framed Ames in order to make him the next Frankenstein, a masked driver whose ruthlessness and skill have made him a fan favourite, but also dead. She also continually ensures no driver wins enough races to attain immunity. Ames discovers the evil reality of his situation, utilizing his Frankenstein cover to escape the prison and exact revenge. Death Raceis simple, big and loud, a dumbed-down version of Death Race 2000. It lacks character development and is marred by the omission of the infamous pedestrian killing in favour of a prison setting. Yet if one tunes out enough, it's an enjoyable action movie filling its fast cars, steel-jawed heroes and slick stunts quota. Those looking for something remotely close to its predecessor will be in for one bumpy ride though. The commentary and featurettes are of minimal consequence, failing to add any insight or interest to this plain Jane Death Race. (Universal)