Death Race's Postapocalyptic Road Rage Will Be Splattery, Silly

The first reports from early screenings of September's Death Race have popped up online, and the dystopian race-for-your-life movie sounds just as silly as you'd probably expected. Starring Jason Statham, Death Race is less a remake of 1970s cult classic Death Race 2000 than a movie inspired by it. It features lots of weird video-game touches, and some very over-the-top graphic violence, courtesy of director Paul W.S. Anderson (Event Horizon). Click through for details and spoilers.

  • One line synopsis: "Competitors race for their lives. What's not to love?" Slightly longer synopsis: Statham is a prisoner who's forced to take part in a "death race" for entertainment purposes, where the reward is not getting horribly smushed.
  • It's like "Mario Kart on steroids." When the drivers drive over little sword-and-shield-shaped markers on the road, they get offensive or defensive weapons activated on their cars.
  • The movie has really intense violence, including people getting run over and impaled. One tattooed driver gets splatted incredibly graphically as he's trying to escape the shattered wreckage of his own car. People also get blown up and "shot to hell." You get to see Jason Statham's butt when he gets hosed down in prison, in one scene early on.
  • It's a "silly action update" of the 1970s cult classic. And there's a Frankenstein mask.
  • Joan Allen plays a Cruella Deville-type baddie. Ian MacShane steals all his scenes, and Tyrese is hardly in it despite being the other main character besides Statham.
  • It has a really, really weirdly abrupt ending, with very little resolution of what happens to the characters.
[Statham Fan ]