Death Race 2 Reviews
It's actually meant to be a prequel to the 2008 Jason Statham film, even though they got original Death Race 2000 actor David Carradine to reprise the Frankenstein role at the start of the 2008 film.
Despite that, Luke Goss suits the action demanding role.
Not a bad film for what it is, it was entertaining, action packed and had some familiar faces including Sean Bean and Danny Trejo.
I feel Part 2 & Part 3 have a better story line and the first Death Race is a movie on its own credit.
Not suitable for the young kiddies I would say 15 and above.
If you watch part 2 you have to watch part 3 as it gives the movie series a proper ending.
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.
But has a person like me who doesn't turn off his brain during these stupid action movie I must really talk about the big things in this movie like: The acting is just flat out bad, the actions scenes where just blah and .
But they is this one character in this movie that only has a short scene but he was the best part of the film and he was called Hill Billy and my god his the best character period ans his only in the film about a couple of seconds, I don't know why he stood out to me if I'm honest but team Hill Billy all the way. Beside that the movie wasn't good.
The thing that frustrated me about Death Race 2 was the fact that despite its title and what Paul W.S. Anderson's Death Race was about, the focus the film was not on car chases. Instead, Tony Giglio wrote a much cheaper angle into the screenplay and made it all about cage fighting. There is a certain level of fun to be had in a film about that concept, but considering that the film boasts the name Death Race, it is misleading. The film eventually made up for it, but the fact is that there was not enough Death Racing in the film to really justify calling it Death Race. It works as a way to moderate the budget and certainly comes off as a guilty pleasure in a certain regard, but Death Race 2 comes up short on the racing front which is ultimately its downfall.
The premise in Death Race 2 is a fairly familiar one. Anyone who has seen any film where prisoners have to fight each other to the death are not in for many surprises in Death Race 2. Despite being named Death Race 2, it is actually a prequel, so the film suffers the same title fate that Missing in Action 2: The Beginning did. But as far as Direct-to-DVD prequels go, Death Race 2 is actually not too bad. There was never a chance of it living up to the standard of Death Race 2000 because that is a cult classic that no other Death Race film will ever beat, and it wouldn't beat Death Race because that was a surprisingly fun Jason Statham action vehicle. But for the low standard of direct-to-DVD action films, Death Race 2 is actually a somewhat decent one. The thing is that the film takes its story very seriously and in the process it goes through all kinds of cliches in the process. It fails to transcend its predictable nature or bring much in the way of creativity. When the film focuses on its cage fighting moments, there is a certain creativity brought in by the way that the film incorporates elements of weaponry in though. But still, the cage fighting is not as fun as it could be because the choreography is a bit too tame. For a film which features Luke Goss who has the ability to pack a punch and Robin Shou who showcased his abilities in the Mortal Kombat films, the one on one combat in Death Race 2 is really not up to a great standard. It drags the fun of the film down a bit without maintaining the kind of fun that it could have had if someone like Jean-Claude Van Damme was on board for it. But the point of the film is to focus on the Death Races themselves rather than the cage fighting, and when they do finally become present the film picks up a bit.
The racing scenes in the film aren't perfect, but for a $7 million direct-to-DVD film they were actually higher in quality than I was expecting. The cinematography is still somewhat shaky and the editing is a bit quick, but the choreography for them is actually not that bad. It is not any high standard material, but it is far beyond the standard that has been set by films of the production values that Death Race 2 maintains. The production values in general are actually decent considering the film's low budget because the setting feels rather legitimate which gives it a certain edge. Viewers with a very low standard of expectations for Death Race 2 who are die hard fans of Death Race are likely to get a kick out of the film because it isn't that bad, surprisingly enough. If there was more of them then perhaps the film could have been better, but that isn't exactly the problem. The racing scenes in Death Race 2 are just like the ones from the first Death Race, only not as creative or well choreographed. So what viewers get to see in Death Race 2 are practically just witnessing a rehash of prison films and the first Death Race film in the same set which means that it is lacking in originality. Death Race 2 is not a film with really any surprises to it since it goes along a fairly basic path with a lot of repetition and minimal creativity. The story in Death Race 2 fails to come up with any interesting plot points and there is not enough action in the film, but rather a collection of tedious melodrama surrounding the characters which is never really interesting because if people are watching Death Race 2 for the sake of the characters then clearly they are very misguided.
The cast really don't make much of a change on that which is a shame considering that Death Race 2 features performances from popular B-movie stars Danny Trejo and Ving Rhames in the film. Of the two of them, Danny Trejo makes more of an impact simply because he plays on his status as a prisoner of many films really easily and brings along a sense of support for the protagonist. If he got in on the action a bit more then Death Race 2 would have been better, but viewers just have to make do with his small appearance in the film. Fans of Sean Bean may also enjoy the film considering the fact that it came from the year before he began starring on HBO's critically acclaimed series Game of Thrones.
So Death Race 2 is just a rehash of the Paul W.S. Anderson's Death Race film and other prison movies which means it is short on value, but for a low budget direct-to-DVD prequel it manages to doll out some decent moments.
bad, statham is missing
She is an amazing actress and takes the role very seriously even with little screen time and the confusing plot of Death Race 2. The scenes not including Cohan consist of mostly regurgitated driving, toyish cars & props, and an entirely unnecessary amount of parkour running being carried out by supposed felons.
Sorry Rhames and Trejo but Cohan is the only real actor in this cast.