Monday, March 31, 2014

Death Race (2008)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson

Composer: Paul Haslinger

Starring: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez, Max Ryan, Jason Clarke, Fred Koehler, Jacob Vargas, Justin Mader, Robert LaSardo, Robin Shou, Benz Antoine, David Carradine

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Get ready for a killer ride.

Plot: Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

Here's another picture I face palmed when I heard they were remaking.  The original DEATH RACE 2000 (1975) is so fucking fun that it's hard to believe giving it a bigger budget and bigger stars would improve it.  Now, having watched it finally, I'm rather impressed.  I thought that it would be dumb as hell taking a cross country road race and confining it to a prison was retarded.  It's not that bad.  Sure, you've got to check your brains at the door but if you watch it for what it is, it's fun.  Statham is Statham and I'm perfectly fine with that.  I dig the guy.  Ian McShane is a badass.  Having him and Joan Allen in this picture is a big plus.  It gets silly and stupid when Anderson makes the girls' entrance look like a music video but then again, when so much of the movie has the feel of a well-produced video game, it makes more sense. You also get some stupid things like ejector seats.  Why would there be ejector seats in these cars in the first place?  Oh yeah, to help Ames (Statham) win the race.  Oops.  Spoilers.

The race is in 3 stages which means 3 races.  You just know the final race ends with Ames breaking out of the prison, and it does.  The races are fun but only to a point.  There are 3 of them (not including the one that opens the film with an AWESOME voice cameo by the original film's Frankenstein, David Carradine) so after a while they start to look alike and there's not much variation in the moves or the way they're filmed.  That everything is greyish doesn't help, either.  The ending feels kind of a cheep way out but it's fine for what it is.  I wouldn't be all that keen to see the sequel but it's got Sean Bean, Ving Rhames and Danny Trejo in it so now it's a given. Shit.  Now I see that Rhames and Trejo are in the third picture.  Now there's another one I'll have to watch.  It probably sucks 30 pounds of balls but it's Rhames and Trejo, man!

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