Monday, November 16, 2009

Death Race: Jason Statham Gets Naked

Death Race is a modern remake of a cult sci-fi movie from the 70's starring Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine. I'm going to stop there, because other than the name, this movie has very little to do with the original. Honestly it's more of a mashup of Running Man and Mariokart than anything else.

In a futuristic world, the hot sport is Death Race, where life term convicts are placed in heavily modified death dealing cars, and put on a race track together. Win five races, and you get a full pardon. The thing I like about Death Race is that the game itself is actually fairly well thought out, it has rules, beyond just make it across the finish line at any cost. Each Death Race even is split up into three stages, which occurs over a number of days, it's only important to come in first in the final stage, other than that, you can just focus on taking out rivals, and surviving. Each vehicle has an arsenal of defensive and offensive weapons, which are electronically locked out for the first lap, during the second lap, panels on the track light up, a sword for offensive weapons, and a shield for defensive. Once you drive over one of these panels, the respective weapons are turned on, and that panel goes out, drivers have to make sure to hit the panels with all 4 tires, or else their weapons don't get activated. Additionally there are panels with skulls on them that open up traps, which are a wall of spikes that rise out of the ground, and once your car is impaled, they slowly sink back down, causing a car crusher like effect.

The driving action is certainly a lot of fun, and a guilty pleasure, as are the fight scenes. It's a little disappointing that Jason Statham, who clearly fights better the fewer clothes he wears, isn't more of a badass in a movie where he gets completely naked.

There is a story about Statham's wife getting killed, and he being framed for it, which ties all into the warden's need for a replacement for her star driver, "Frankenstein". But really, watching a movie like this for story is like going to a strip club for the drinks.

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