Five long decades after Death Race 2000 (1975), in the overpopulated United Corporations of America, the annual Death Race is about to begin. This time, Frankenstein is up against no-nonsense challengers. How many points will he score?
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.
Tanit Phoenix Copley,
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.
An unscrupulous District Attorney is savagely murdered and tossed out of a building onto his brand new car. Mysteriously, the District Attorney and his car come back to life as a single being with a thirst for vengeance.
A homeless war-veteran with a chequered past must rely on a side of himself once thought buried when he and his companions are targeted by three vicious psychopaths wearing Santa suits on Christmas Day.
In the year 2050 the planet has become overpopulated, to help control population the government develops a "Death Race." Annually competitors race across the country scoring points for killing people with their vehicles.
Being a B movie fan, it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed the 1975 Roger Corman production "Death Race 2000". As for the first remake of that movie - the 2008 "Death Race" starring Jason Statham - well, not very much, namely because it took the title of the original movie and not that much else. But when I heard this second remake was out and that it was going to be more faithful to the original movie, I decided to give it a whirl in my Blu-ray player.
It did not take long into watching the movie to realize that the filmmakers had seriously botched things. There are many problems with this movie, ranging from the cheesy special effects to the racing sequences being very poorly directed and edited. But the biggest misstep the movie makes is that it is *extremely* strident in tone. It crams in so many attempts at heavy-handed humor that you'll be wanting some dramatic relief from the comedy.
Actually, had the humor been actually funny, that might not have been a problem. But I counted only three gags that made me smile slightly. The rest of the humor is extremely unsubtle with its writing and execution.
The cast shows signs of talent, but apparently because of director G. J. Echternkamp's command to endlessly mug and shout their dialogue, all the actors come across as thoroughly obnoxious. Not one character in the movie comes across even remotely sympathetic.
The best that can be said of this movie is that it makes the Jason Statham movie look much better in comparison. Needless to say, it makes the 1975 original come across as deserving of multiple Academy Awards.
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