Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
In the future, prisoners race for their freedom.
There’s never been a film “with less plot and more action” than Death Race, said Phillip Kennicott in The Washington Post. Loosely based on Roger Corman’s 1975 schlock classic, this remake takes place in 2012 and stars Jason Statham as a wrongly convicted man whose only chance at freedom is to compete in one of the prison’s Death Races. Director Paul W.S. Anderson takes audiences for a ride, arming his action flick with weaponized vehicles, machine guns, pyrotechnics, big breasts, and sadistic prison guards. Death Race is a “lowbrow piece of pulp,” but a pretty entertaining one, said Rafer Guzman in Newsday. More destructive than a demolition derby, it’s filled with “terrifically preposterous car chases and impressively brutal bouts of jailhouse mano-a-mano.” Most of the film seems not to have been written or directed but “scientifically designed to trigger every boy’s prepubescent pleasure-centers.” That doesn’t say much about today’s youth, said Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Death Race may attract moviegoers, but it’s just “another sign of the decline of the national fanboy mentality.”