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Convicted cop-killer Carl Lucas, aka Frankenstein, is a superstar driver in the brutal prison yard demolition derby known as Death Race. Only one victory away from winning freedom for himself and his pit crew, Lucas is plunged into an all-new competition more vicious than anything he has experienced before. Pitted against his most ruthless adversaries ever, Lucas fights to keep himself and his team alive in a race in South Africa's infernal Kalahari Desert. With powerful forces at work behind the scenes to ensure his defeat, will Lucas' determination to win at all costs mean the end of the road for him? Written by
Let me start by stating that I loved DR1, and found DR2 a surprisingly (and unusually) well-made and entertaining sequel, even if (clearly) not of the same caliber as the first movie. As such, I admit I had fairly high expectations for this third film, although I was not hoping for anything more than just a plain, good ol'fashioned, B action fest.
What you get instead is a badly edited piece of manure that lacks coherence, but is rich in really poor and amateurish performances, stuffed with mostly mediocre (and occasionally outright pitiful!) f/x. I cannot understand how the same director (and largely same cast) responsible for DR2 could end up with this mess! Sure, most of the problems - 'snipped' action sequences, scenes sequenced so quickly and randomly that they resemble a meaningless collage of music videos, nonsensical dialogue that makes you think the actor/actress is responding to lines cut from the final product, words dropped/missing, incoherent scenes, confused camera work etc. - could be explained by a hatchet-job in editing. Still, no matter how bad the editor may have been at his/her job, it cannot possibly explain the amateurishly exaggerated performances from virtually all the actors/actresses involved, very much including Ving Rhames, Luke Goss, and Danny Trejo, all of whom have proved themselves before (to a greater or lesser extent) to be able to carry their lines and scenes rather well.
This movie obviously had a much smaller budget, and did not have the benefit of inheriting the original cars (and probably some sets) as DR2 did. It is all the more surprising, then, that the director did not even make full use of the f/x and explosions/kills that they did spend money on, oftentimes opting to cut away from them and not letting them play themselves out on the screen!(?) There are a few genuinely nice (sometimes even beautiful) shots (courtesy of the stunning desert location) a few somewhat interesting cars (though most are entirely too reminiscent of those in Fast Five) and Eugene Khumbanyiwa (the actor who played the Nigerian warlord in District 9) is as deliciously psychotic as ever - but they are the rarest of exceptions in this otherwise confused, utterly amateurish endeavour. I found myself beginning to yawn about halfway through, and could not help but feel that DR3 compares to DR2 much the same way as, say, the Nemesis sequels compared to the original Nemesis.
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