sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

Death Race

Amongst other things this week, I have been catching up with some movies that came out a while ago. First up was Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of the old David Carradine pulper Death Race 2000.

The new version stars Jason "I should play Willie Garvin" Statham, who is much like he usually is: taciturn, frowny and ripped. Like The Transporter, mad car stunts ensue. Unlike The Transporter, there's not so much in the way of fight sequences outside the cars. Oh well.

On the other hand, the revised story makes slightly more sense than the original. The eponymous race has been transported from America's streets to tracks managed by a privately-owned corporation that runs a maximum-security prison. And Statham, naturally, is incarcerated there for a Crime He Did Not Commit(OMT). The race tracks all have swords and shields that must be driven over to activate the weaponry and defenses on the cars. I honestly can't tell whether this is satirical comment on video games, or a way to simplify the movie-to-game transition. Probably both.

Of the remaining cast, Ian McShane's okay as Coach (really), and Joan Allen is great as the warden. Natalie Martinez is suitable hot as, well, the hottie. (Having read about the film in the past, I thought: A unisex prison? Really? But I missed the point: the female navigators are bussed in from a women's prison on the days of the races - and are there to boost the ratings and hence maximise income for the corporation running the prison and races. Again with the commentary.)

I quite enjoyed this, actually. It's a no-brain film, and reasonably inventive in action terms. Almost all of the characters are paper-thin (McShane's has a nice twist), if that, and the ending's preposterous. But it was fun to watch.

Tags: movies, sf
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