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movie review by David Blackwell

89 minutes, rated R

STARRING Jason Statham (Jensen Ames), Ian McShane (Coach), Joan Allen (Hennessey), Natalie Martines (Case)
WRITTEN and DIRECTED by Paul W.S. Anderson
based on DEATH RACE 2000

STUDIO: Universal Pictures/ Relativity Media/ Impact Pictures
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 8-22-2008

In the near future, the United States economy has collapsed and all prisons are privately run. Terminal Island is the prison where the popular Pay-Per-View sport Death Race is located. Prisoners race in souped up cars with weaponery. The goal is to get rid of your fellow drivers and win five races to gain your freedom. Former race car driver Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) is framed for the murder of his wife by Termnial Island's prison warden Hennessey (Joan Allen). Ames discovers he has been set up to replace dead Death race driver Frankenstein. he is given a deal to run Frankenstein's last race and gain his freedom. However, he learns no one is ever expected to win five races and gain their freedom.

Jason Statham tackles his third role of this year with his usual acting style. He knows most people want to see him in action films (though I did love him in THE BANK JOB). DEATH RACE is a gritty and no-holds barred action film from director Paul W.S. Anderson. It is the type of film meant to be a straight action film with plenty of stuff to thrill the hard core action movie junkie and fans of Jason Statham. Ian McShane knows how to chew scenery. The big attraction are the race scenes. Paul W.S. Anderson is a big fan of action in his films. Still DEATH RACE isn't as good as Anderson's two best films, EVENT HORIZON and RESIDENT EVIL. DEATH RACE does play a little homage to the original DEATH RACE 2000, but it doesn't have the humor that Corman's film did (although the remake does have a little humor). Both films do cut into the audience's need to extreme entertianment. It does make perfect sense that sports like Death race would be used to distract people from the bigger problems plaguing the country. Come and see DEATH RACE for the atcion and Statham. Also don't miss the trailers before it for FAST & FURIOUS and TRANSPORTER 3 (out in theaters on Thanksgiving Day weekend).

this DVD review is (c)8-27-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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