Cast: Jason Statham, Joan Allen
Direction: Paul W.S. Anderson
Way back in 1975, B-movie maestro Roger Corman produced the campy sci-fi satire Death Race 2000. Now, Corman is once again associated as producer on this mega-budget remake. Disappointingly, the update is nowhere in the league of the cult original.
Set some four years in the future, Death Race envisions a grim, dystopian world. Since the economy has nose-dived, crime is on the upswing. Prisons, now under the control of private corporations, are run for profit.
In a super-tough prison, an inmate (Statham, desultory as ever) is made an offer he cannot refuse. The sadistic warden (Allen, relishing her role of a dominatrix) promises to set the ex-racing champ free if he wins the deadly race competition.
Relentlessly violent, the effort strings together a series of crashes, explosions and bone-crunching fistfights. Completely devoid of suspense, the outcome has no redeeming features whatsoever.
So, unless you’re a die-hard fan of metal-scorching action, avoid this extreme sports fiasco.