Death Race (15)
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Time Out says
Tue Sep 23 2008Since all Paul WS Anderson’s films (‘Resident Evil’, ‘AVP’ etc.) are video-game-inflected compendia of his favourite ’70s films, a remake of Paul Bartel’s violent exploitation movie ‘Death Race 2000’ (1975) as a futuristic ‘reality’ TV show makes perfect sense. The same cannot be said for the MOT-failure of a plot, which is in constant danger of having its wheels come off.
Bullet-headed action man Jason Statham (above) launches himself fearlessly into his role as steel worker Jensen Ames, framed for murder by Joan Allen’s elegant prison governor, who finds himself taking over the role of masked racer and audience favourite, ‘Frankenstein’. The deal is, win five races, go free; but first Ames has to use his driving skills and some serious firepower to defeat cartoon villains with nicknames such as Machine Gun Joe and The Grimm Reaper. It’s brainless fun, but while Anderson’s brilliant staging of the flesh-ripping stunts surpasses Bartel’s cheap thrills, this update lacks the sardonic wit and satirical bite of the Corman-produced version.
Author: Nigel Floyd