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Death Race (2008)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 133,341 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 205 user | 222 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.

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Title: Death Race (2008)

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Storyline

In 2012, amid economic chaos and high unemployment, Americans watch by the millions as criminals with life sentences race armored cars on Terminal Island. Two-thirds of the combatants die but the winner may earn his freedom. On the day he loses his job, steelworker Jensen Ames is arrested for his wife's murder. Sent to Terminal Island, he's offered an out by the steely and manipulative Warden Hennessey - race as the popular mask-wearing (but now dead) champion, Frankenstein, or rot in prison. Jensen makes the bargain. As the three-stage race approaches, he realizes that the whole thing may be a set up - can an anonymous man behind a mask get revenge and win his release? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Get ready for a killer ride. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death Race 3000  »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£683,038 (UK) (26 September 2008)

Gross:

£1,920,818 (UK) (10 October 2008)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This remake largely came about after Roger Corman saw and liked Paul W.S. Anderson's first film Shopping (1994). Corman secured the rights to show the film in the US and at that point asked Anderson what film he'd like to make next. Anderson cited this one, though it ultimately took 13 years for that to come to fruition. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shots of the movie's first race, the front zoomed view of Frankeinstein's car show the machine guns mounted on the driver's side of the vehicle, where as a few frames later when seen from further away, the guns are mounted on the passenger's side. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Case: [while being shot at during Death Race] Damn it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, the line "Okay cocksucker. Fuck with me, and we'll see who shits on the sidewalk" is heard again. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nostalgia Critic: The Shining Mini-Series (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Maybe Tomorrow
Written by Stuart Cable, Kelly Jones, Richard Jones
Performed by Stereophonics
Courtesy of V2 Music Limited
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
who needs a plot when there's explosion and mayhem?
21 August 2008 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

2012 the economy has hit bottom, broke through and has kept on descending. Along the way prisons have been handed over to the private sector that have chosen to make a profit by broadcasting gladiatorial style death matches starring the inmates, with the reward to the inmates after 5 victories – FREEDOM Enter Jensen Ames (Jason Stratham) a recently unemployed steel worker and former race car driver who lost his license but no matter how bad things are, he's a happy man as long as he has his family.

That is, until he's set up for the murder of his wife, imprisoned, and forced to compete in Death Race if he ever hopes to see his daughter again.

But enough of the plot! A paragraph blurb at the start and 8 minutes of character development is pushing the limits of this flick and that's not why a person would see a W.S. Anderson/Jason Stratham action flick and besides, a plot would allow "plot holes" and who needs to deal with that headache? The rest of the movie takes place in the 3 days of Death Race. The first 2 days are competition/elimination rounds reminiscent of Mario Kart as if it was designed by some rogue member of GTA on a disgruntled day but who loved the hidden short cuts and power-ups.

Amongst all the adrenaline filled action, Anderson makes sure to toss in the occasional character development or when he's feeling really daring he'll toss in some pseudo-dramatic realization our hero comes across which helps remind the movie-goer that the movie has a plot rather than just a string of explosive action sequence. All of this is done with the utmost use of cliché and designed to inspire the excitable little 12 year old boy in many of us to stay riveted in our seats as we wait for Jensen to strike with angry revenge for all he's been through.

The movie is everything a modern day movie aficionado should not like. It's brainless, sexist, ridiculously violent, and lacks any redeemable qualities. These are also all the reasons why I had so much fun with the movie. I went seeing what I expected and that's exactly what I wanted to see!


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