Death Race (2008)

Death Race (2008)

2008 | R | 105 Minutes

Action | Science Fiction | Thriller

Terminal Island, New York: 2020. Overcrowding in the US penal system has reached a breaking point. Prisons have been turned over to a monolithic Weyland Corporation, which sees jails full of thugs...

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Death Race is the deadliest game of Mario Kart ever. Swap green shells for machine guns, switch red shells for armour piercing missiles and substitute banana skins for napalm. This. Is. Statham Kart. Anderson unleashed his inner Michael Bay with this disposable action film. Unnecessary fire. Gargantuan Explosions. So much metal and rust that it makes 'Mad Max' look pristine. All that carnage can't quite disguise the repetitive races and monotonous story that the film embellishes. In the near future, the economy is suffering and prisons are overwhelmed with criminals. Anarchy reigns supreme in the outside world, but forget about the unexplored social commentary that could've been hugely interesting to watch. Because Anderson wants you to focus on Death Race. A subscription-based event where prisoners participate in a three-staged race. The winner? Well, freedom of course. But hold up, this isn't just a race! Oh no, it's a tool for corporate greed. This could've been an interesting representation of current society. Unfortunately we are forced to witness a dull story about a husband being set up, so that he is forced to participate and replace a deceased driver in the race. Sure, it's functional and allows the metal destruction to take precedent, but I can't help feeling that this could've been so much more than just a mindless action film. Atleast it does feature Statham. And frowning. Lots and lots of frowning. The sheer testosterone and masculinity that is exhumed from these prisoners nearly changed my sexuality. Even Allen, as the antagonistic race controller, felt just pure man. "Release the Dreadnought". Yes baby, do it! Release it!! The sexy women inclusion did feel slightly objectifying and honestly provided nothing to the story (apparently viewers want to see them...). Still, the film is fun. Turn your brain off, watch Anderson wave the camera around like a lunatic, and try to enjoy the velocity of Death Race.