Death Race (2008)

Death Race

 

Graphic violence and next to no storyline.  Must be a Jason Statham film then.

A loose remake of the 1975 film “Death Race 2000”, though loose is the right word.

Joan Allen is Warden Hennessey, the cold calculating ratings-chasing organiser of  the Death Race TV show, who pits criminals against each other in races with the hollow promise of early release for 5-time winners.

Jason Statham is Jensen Ames, an innocent former racing driver who ends up in prison for the murder of his wife, set up so that he can be included in the racing in order to increase the pay per view sales.

His team include the legendary Ian McShane as “Coach” and the reasonably attractive Natalie Martinez as co-driver “Case”.

Main rival “Machine Gun Joe” is played by Tyrese Gibson.

You have some nice racing, some prison fisticuffs, and some pretty crappy acting.  It could’ve been so much better though.  I like Statham, he is probably the UK’s top hardman actor (though Vinnie Jones would possibly argue with that) and he has been in some good films over the years (The Transporter and Crank spring to mind), but he’s also been in some stinkers (Parker anyone ?) and this film fits in the latter category.

Wasted opportunity for what was originally a good idea.

5/10 and only that much for the car scenes and occasional exploding head or splattered body.

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