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Review: Death Race

movie reviews Updated: Nov 21, 2008 19:44 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
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Death Race
Cast: Jason Statham, Joan Allen
Direction: Paul W S Anderson
Rating: **

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.