Death Race 2 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Death Race 2 Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 8, 2013
Roel Reine's Death Race 2 does what it can with its budget.Considering this is a follow up to its predecessor, Death Race, the story takes place before hand, making this completely watchable without having seen the first. At just over 90 minutes, the first half is a let down. Sure, the story and major characters need to be setup, but when the title of the film contains the word "race", it would be nice to see that. Instead, it becomes a journey to get there.For a straight to video picture, the action and violence is quite good without much dependence on CG. Most of the budget definitely goes here as seen with the vehicular destruction.The cast is decent, same as the acting with Luke Goss as the lead. Danny Trejo and Sean Bean back him up nicely, while Lauren Cohan and Tanit Phoenix are extremely easy on the eyes.If Death Race 2 isn't a disappointment, that's because of its second half.
Super Reviewer
½ July 7, 2011
Well for a straight to DVD release this was pretty solid stuff, in fact its just as good as the first in terms of looks, action and quality and kinda surprises me why it never got a proper release. Well that's what I thought at first haha after finishing I realised why it may not have gotten a bigger release, simply its just the same as the first in everything.

Now don't get me wrong its not a poor film, its actually a decent 'Running Man' style flick with good destruction derby sequences and plenty of pointless over the top blood BUT its the same as the first. Nothing new here anywhere I'm afraid right down to bringing back another 'Frankenstein' and using all the same types of cars.

Cast attracted me with Rhames, Goss, Trejo and Bean (great line up) plus there are some nice girls in here too ;) but the film kinda rollercoasters and has good bits and poor bits and then bits which are directly copied from the first. Never did like the computer game angle it uses with the race either, comes across as a 'WWF' show, apart from that if you can accept its basically the first all over again then enjoy.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2013
The sequel to the remake of Death Race is a very good improvement over the first film. This a prequel detailing the origins of Frankenstein, and for a straight to DVD release, it's a very good film with an interesting plot, which actually was very well done, even though it wasn't perfect. Acting wise, there were some decent performances, nothing remarkable, but the action was far more engaging than the first film due to the fact that the plot was more interesting and intriguing to me. Death Race 2 is one of the few Straight to DVD titles that is better than the theatrical release. In terms of a prequel, this film succeeds were many other prequels have failed. Sean Bean is great here as well and he makes for an interesting villain. I was pleasantly surprised by this second entry and it was much better in terms of mindless action and good plot. The origin story of the race was very good, and the cast did a good job with the film's material and one of the reasons that this sequel works so well is that the 1975 original was a low-budget B movie, and this one has all the ingredients of a good B movie and it makes very entertaining and fun for action junkies. Go into this one expecting a more in depth plot with good, mindless action, and you're going to have fun with this one. This is one of the best popcorn action flicks to go Straight to DVD and if you loved the first one, you'll probably enjoy this one. Or if you're like me and wanted more out of the first film, then this prequel may give you what you were looking for. Death Race 2 is flawed, but man is it a fun, entertaining ride worth taking.
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2012
If your going to make another death race it should be built on a larger scale due to raised expectations. Only difference is, this one is gorier and filled with more sex. Its impressively made on its small budget but this prequel isnt as memorable as its predecessor because of the boring back story and utter predictability .
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2011
Death Race 2 is a clear case of Approach With Caution. Hooray for pleasant surprises, though, because this ultra-stylish, solidly acted prequel to Paul W.S. Anderson's 2008 turbo-charger brings the noise. Luke Goss makes for an appealing, conflicted hero, and the stunning cinematography, bangin' soundtrack, awesome stunt choreography and brilliant comic delivery by Ving Rhames lifts this well above it's shelf-sitting brethren.
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2010
A total blast. One hell of an insane, pulse-pounding and wickedly epic thrill-ride that you cant get enough of. A stylish, brutal, sexy and tremendously entertaining movie. An exhilarating and spectacular action-packed thriller that's too much fun to resist. An adrenaline-fulled and awesome movie from start to finish that's an genuine surprise. A strong prequel with some juicy characters and solid performances from it's great and energetic cast. Luke Goss is terrific. Sean Bean is explosive. Ving Rhames is brilliant. Danny Trejo is excellent. A knockout action flick that's just as good and if not superior to it's predecessor. It packs loads of explosive chases and brutal fight sequences. A great slice of pure hard-core action move madness. Director, Roel Reine does a fantastic job taking over what Director, Paul W.S Anderson started.
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2011
Slightly better paced and plotted than the last one, but Goss is no Statham.
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2011
This movie is the second installment of the death race series, thus is the origin of the famous character from the movie 'Frankenstein'. The movie is not even close as good as the first one but still was interesting to know the origin and how it all began. Death Race 3 in on the making as of now.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2010
Death Race 2 is pretty much what you'd expect from a direct-to-video prequel. The writing is sub-par and the acting is nothing short of atrocious, but the action isn't bad. While the races and action sequences aren't quite up to the level of the first films, they get the job done.
Storywise it's largely a rehash of the first film, with only the last 10 minutes trying to suddenly create a bridge between the films. But let's be honest. No one is watching "Death Race 2" for the story. Is there death? Check. Is there racing? Check. The audience for this movie knows what they're getting, and for the most part they'll enjoy it.
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2013
I think this movie copped a lot more flak than it deserved, and honestly, I liked it better than Death Race (which also copped more flak than it deserved), or Death Race 2000 (the 1975 film the former two are based on, which is not as good as people say it is).

Though it was sad not to see Statham in the film, Luke Goss did an excellent job of picking up the reins of protagonist. So far I can honestly say I've loved everything I've seen that Goss has done to date (Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Blade 2, Tekken, Fringe and The Dead Undead). Also Sean Bean (of Boromir from The Lord of the Rigs fame) and Danny Trejo (From Dusk till Dawn, The Devil's Rejects, Rob Zombie's Halloween, Predators and Machete) are both always money well spent in my books.

I was doubtful that Death Race warranted any furthering in its franchise, given that it was a quasi sequel to Death Race 2000 to begin with. Honestly though, after having seen Deathrace 2, which was made for only a tenth of the cost of Death Race, I'm quite glad they did. It may be just another action movie, but it's got great re-watch value, which is what I most admire in a film.

That's not to say it's not without fault. I had to watch the film through twice before I really understood half of the characters motives. Ving Rhames is a terrible actor, how he keeps getting work is beyond me. Though thankfully his role as Mr. Weyland (hopefully this was a deliberate throw back to Alien, and they don't honestly expect us to believe they come up with it themselves) who owns (but doesn't run) the Terminal Island Prison, is a minor one. Goss's love interest wasn't quite as annoying, but the navigator really didn't do it for me. She was even worse then the navigator from Death Race, which is bad.

The actual "Death Race" part of Death Race didn't come up until half way through the film, which I'm sure caused plenty of people a lot of grief, but seriously, this is what I like to see from an origin story, the origin. World is bad, prisons get full, corporations buy prisons, prisons make money, not enough money, prisoners riot, rioters die, news coverage of deaths make money, prisoners fighting to death becomes reality show, reality show loses popularity, change fight to death to fight to death in cars, fight to death in cars makes money. Simple. Now we know. It doesn't matter how good the film itself may be, I'm sick of movies like Rise of the Lycans, The Scorpion King, Exorcist: The Beginning, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning and Paranormal Activity 2, (most of which were crap by the way) that advertise they will let you "see how it all began", and they don't! Sure, maybe you find out how SOMETHING began, but it doesn't take you all the way back. At least Chains of Olympus and Gods of the Arena are upfront that they're only prequels, not "Origin Stories".

I can't decide which order to suggest to people you should watch this franchise in. Honestly I say give Death Race 2000 a miss all together, but do you watch them in the order they were released, or their set chronology? I'm thinking #1 then #2, but I'll never know which would be better. I just say to do it that way, because you'll be less disappointed by the absence of almost every character from the prequel in Death Race if you watch them that way around. 14K is still around, and so is Lists, but that's really it. The films got one of the best soundtracks I've come across in a while, but other than that there isn't anything particularly special. Still, it's a Hell of a lot of fun.


Super Reviewer
May 21, 2013
An action-packed but poorly written prequel, Death Race 2 is mindless fun. After a bank robbery goes wrong, Carl Lucas is sentenced to Terminal Island where the Weyland Corporation is experimenting with prisoner combat entertainment. Overall, the plot isn't that bad, and does a fair job at crafting an origin story for the Death Race. The casting is also pretty solid, and features Luke Goss, Lauren Cohan, Danny Trejo, and Ving Rhames; but their characters aren't written very well. Still, the fight scenes and chases are full of thrills and excitement. Death Race 2 provides an interesting backstory for the series, but the B-movie quality holds it back.
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2012
Nothing more than a cheap prequel to a movie that wasn't good enough or popular enough to deserve one. A total waste of time.
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2011
Tempting but no.
Super Reviewer
½ October 14, 2011
Director tried too hard on playing homages. Slow motion scenes were dreadful and unnecessary, casting was not good. However, it offers a good explaination that complemeted the first film
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2011
Genuinely shocked at how good this was. It tells the story of how Death Race began, and we see the birth of Frankenstein. The script is patchy and the director overuses slow-mo, and yet the great cast don't seem all that bothered and just roll with it. Lots of fun, and definitely worth watching if you liked the last one.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2011
This wasn't bad. I was expecting it to be terrible, but it was actually pretty entertaining!
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2011
I fell asleep about half way through. I was bored and I felt like this had all been done before.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2011
Don't let the title confuse you, this is a prequel to the Jason Statham movie not a sequel. The story is okay, the acting is okay, and the action is pretty good. I thought the death match section of the movie let it down badly, as I felt it could have made room for more races. Overall, late night fodder,
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2010
If Death Race was a throwback to 80's style action movies, then Death Race 2 is a throw back to 80's style action sequels. Half the budget of the first, thrown together in a rush, featuring what made the first movie popular, but bringing absolutely nothing new to the table. If this wasn't a prequel to the first movie, it might as well be called "Death Race Too".

But to be perfectly fair, as far as direct to video movies go, it's not bad. At least the filmmakers made an obvious effort to deliver a quality product with what they had. The film is not only an origin story for the character of Frankenstein, it's also an origin story for the Death Race itself. So the viewer will have to be patient, because for the first half of the movie, the race doesn't even exist. What we have is a simple story of loyalty, honor among thieves, and how payback is a bitch.

The acting ranges from mediocre to horrid. Established, and talented, actors like Sean Bean and Ving Rhames basically cash a paycheck, but hold their own with ease. Lauren Cohan actually does a solid job as the ruthless, bitch on wheels, creator of the race...and DAMN does that woman look good in tight clothes. HOT!!

Unfortunately the movie's worst performance comes from it's lead actor. In the first movie we had the reigning king of cool in action movies, Jason Statham. Here, we have Statham wannabe Luke Goss. I'd never heard of him before, and after watching him here, I can see why. I understand he's a musician by trade, and my advice to him...don't quit your day job. Not only is he a lousy actor, but for an action movie hero, he's about as tough as a cotton ball.

But you don't watch a movie like this for Oscar winning performances, or deep insights into human nature. You watch this movie to see the cars go fast, and see stuff get blowed up real good! For that, you get your money's worth here. Granted the action scenes owe their success more to fast editing than to stunt work, but it gets the job done. One surprise though is that if there are any recycled car shots from the first movie, I didn't notice them. But they do, in fact, use real cars, real stuntmen, and do their stuff for real, in camera. Minimal use of cgi here, and for that I give the movie a big thumbs up.

So, it's not high art, or even A class action by any means. But the cars move fast, the women are hot, and the blood flows free. For a movie of this type, you could do a lot worse.
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