Movie Review: Death Race

Crime has become big business in the US.

Whoa. If you live in LA, as I do, you have no idea how true to life THAT statement is.

A prison does a PPV fights, and makes big money, but people soon grow bored of it, so they begin Death Race, where they race cars and kill each other and it’s a huge money maker.

We jump into a race, and Frankenstein is winning against Tyrese- I thought I wasn’t doing a Fast and the Furious here with Jason Statham. All of Frankenstein’s defensive weapons are offline, and his HOT CHICK sidekick advises dropping back, he refuses wanting to drop the “Tombstone” basically all his back armor, that takes out the sidekick of Tyrese, but doesn’t slow him down. The HOT CHICK ejects, because you want to have that option, and Frank eats a missile to the backside.

Roll Credits.

Jason Statham works in a steel mill. It’s closing after 40 years. Damn, the car race is the only thing that isn’t happening. The pick up the final paychecks of 300 bucks. Jason says he got 140 hours the past two weeks. Whoa. working 10 hour days in a Steel Mill? That’s unreal. It’s a take it or leave it deal from management.
SWAT is called in, and a riot erupts. Nice to see that there is no trouble UNTIL the cops show up. Jason gets his hero groove on by defending an older worker and gets beatdown for it.

Statham comes home to the HOT CHICK WIFE, and says he got laid off. He takes off his shirt so she can clean it, and that gets her all hot and bothered. Baby Cock-Block ensues and when Statham comes back downstairs from being good dad, because all it takes to quit a baby is to say Shhh to it, there is a masked man in the house. Statham is KOed next to his dead wife.

He’s going to prison, for killing his wife. His baby is fine though, and the Warden talks him into being in the DEATH RACE due to his experience as whatever back in the day. He is replacing Frankenstein, who died in the opening race, but only the mask is important, and the buyrates are down without him. Since Frankenstein has already won 4 races, Statham wins one more race and he’s free. Damn, The dead guy did all the hard work. Ian McShane runs his pit crew, as Statham has to learn to Race as we go along, and survive his prison experience.

So how is Death Race?

Eh,

Take the fun out of 2050. Take all the commentary out of the original. Inset a boatload of money. Ta Da!

It’s a good popcorn movie. You show up for the races, and to be honest, to care about anything else is a waste of mental effort. There is a whole bunch of junk about who killed Statham’s wife, the other racers, all that good fun stuff. It’s weak and contrived and I don’t care.

Nor should I.

I’m here for the races, and that’s what I get. The races are fun, and that’s where the money is going to. I do kind of wish we got more with the other racers, and that’s about the weak point of the movie. I’m trained to only care about Jason Statham, and when he starts piling on allies, what exactly am I supposed to do?

The plot resolution, as it is, is clunky at best. I’ll do spoilers, just because of how new the movie is. I’m going a 4 here. It’s not a bad movie, and if you love shoot ’em up racing movies there are far worse out there, but if you want any plot or any redeeming qualities, then forget all about it.

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