25 September 2008 @ 22:41Death Race
Death Race is an extremely over-the-top action movie that follows in the footsteps of the 1975 Death Race 2000 which starred David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. In terms of pure action, Death Race blows away Death Race 2000, but maybe that is to be expected with the advancement of today’s special effects. The connection between Death Race 2000 and Death Race comes in the form of a driver named Frankenstein. Frankenstein was played by David Carradine in the former, and he returns to voice the masked Frankenstein in the opening sequence of the latter.
I wasn’t expecting to be impressed by Death Race, and maybe that is the best way to approach such a movie — with low expectations. However, I found Death Race to be a highly entertaining movie. In fact, this could be Jason Statham‘s best movie since Transporter 2. While The Bank Job was good, it wasn’t action-packed in the typical Statham style. Death Race, on the other hand, is packed with action sequences and only short gaps in between each one.
Jason Statham plays Jensen Ames, who is wrongly imprisoned and promised his freedom if he wins the next death race. Joan Allen plays the cold-as-ice warden in search of an ever increasing audience. I don’t think this was one of her best performances, but it does little to hurt the movie. Ian McShane turns in a great performance as the lead mechanic of Frankenstein’s race car, while Tyrese Gibson also delivers a sufficient amount of action as Machine Gun Joe.