Death Race | Chicago Reader

Death Race

This violent remake of the cult favorite Death Race 2000 (1975) retains little of the original's tongue-in-cheek humor; instead writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson, who's built his career on video-game adaptations like Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil, targets the enormous gamer fan base. A disgraced race-car driver (Jason Statham) is framed for murder by a ruthless prison warden (Joan Allen in full ice-queen mode) so she can make him the star attraction of her phenomenally successful reality TV show. Contestants in heavily armored cars cross road markers that activate their firepower and boost them to the next stage of the race. Costars Tyrese Gibson and Ian McShane are among the few characters spared from immolation, evisceration, or decapitation, presumably so they'll be around for the sequel. R, 89 min.

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