Year of Release2008
DirectorPaul W. S. Anderson
StarringJason Statham

Based on the 1975 film DEATH RACE 2000 This was going to be a hard act to live up to. The original film was a classic post societal meltdown master piece. But it definitely had it’s shortcomings. Can this new version ( featuring original director Roger Corman in co-producer credits) with Jason Statham breathe new life into this film? I was confidnet, this would give it a good nudge at least.


Upon commencement it is obvious that this is going to be a much quicker paced, bigger budget and higher tech affair than its predecessor. With the advantage of over 30 years of technological advancements this film was a great candidate for a reboot. The film opens up in a bleak version of the not too distant future, with a race between “Frankenstein” and “Machine Gun Joe”. Frankenstein is killed in the race and Machine Gun Joe emerges victorious. The movie cuts to factory worker Jensen who is laid off from his work. Jensen and his co-workers get involved in a violent clash with the police. He is later arrested and in the process one of the arresting officers kill his wife. Jensen is then sent to prison and of course starts making enemies right off the bat.

This is where it becomes clear this is not just a retelling of said story. Not sure if its supposed to follow on or be an independent film but either way its a breath of fresh air. The prison warden needs new racers for the a sport she runs (and makes large amounts of money off) and convinces Jensen to take on the identity of the deceased racer Frankenstein.


Obviously that’s as far as I’ll go plot wise. Death Race is fairly simple plot wise and easy to follow after a few beers. Basically just sit back and enjoy the action. One good thing about this re-make is that it allowed a film series (rather than just one remake) to emerge from this. This is definitely a good start, and based on this film, I will definitely find time to view the others in the series. The movie is quite well made, though it doesn’t really need a complex plot or great acting to carry it off the actors do a good enough job to carry the film. What really makes it is the action, violence and cool post apocalyptic cars racing around the place. Basically if you liked movies like Mad Max, this might appeal to you. Also car movies like the Fast and Furious etc… Movies like this I don’t tend to analyse too deeply. Just good clean violent fun!

Did I like this more than the original? I have to say no. But it’s still a great watch. If you can find the original i recommend you watch that first. But this is still a cool movie in its own right. Realistically it will probably hold more appeal to a younger generation too.

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