Mike Stevens | Nov 3, 2008 | 3 Comments

Well chaps, yet another hour and a half of Jason Statham’s grimaces and steely-eyed stares have been visited upon us, this time in the form of Paul W.S. Anderson’s (Event Horizon, AVP) Death Race, the remake of 1976’s Death Race 2000. I wonder; could they not have called it Death Race 2012? Anyway, let’s move on.

Statham, perhaps most famous internationally for his role in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch before moving on to the Transporter franchise, plays former NASCAR driver Jensen Ames – a man falsely accused of murder and sent to jail.

Unfortunately, this is no ordinary jail. In this future world of 2012, the world has become addicted to hardcore reality TV, not unlike the ‘sports’ seen in Rollerball and The Running Man. In the case of Death Race, it’s precisely that: Prisoners are forced to race against each other in hard modified, weapon-stacked cars. The winner – or more to the point; last man standing – walks out a free man.

death-race_02

As to be expected, this is a movie fueled more by its action sequences, engine sounds, and eye candy than it is by its cookie-cutter futuristic storyline. Despite that, the race scenes are genuinely enjoyable, and of course the usual movie-science is present in the form of cars exploding at every possible (or vaguely possible) moment.

This isn’t a movie you’ll tell your grandkids about – did your old man ever mention the original Death Race 2000 to you? – but it’s a good throwaway action flick to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. I wouldn’t give your Friday night to it, though. If nothing else, it’s great to see what happens when you turn a Mustang into a tank and load it up with gattling guns and caltrops.

Running Time 105 minutes
Rated MA 15+
Director Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez
Australian Theatre Release 30 October 2008

Trailer

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