We're introduced to an attractive lady reporter who notices the ratings her story on a prison riot gets and pitches the jail's private owners the idea of a "Death Match" between inmates. Basically, it's just an MMA fight between convicts with some weapons thrown in (including a ridiculous fight between two people with flamethrowers). One of these convicts happens to be our main character, Luke (soon to become "Frankenstein" and played by Luke Goss), who has a bounty on his head from his former crime boss who's afraid he'll rat him out. After ratings begin to fall because people get bored, the attractive lady reporter pitches the "Death Race." The last 40 minutes of the movie is pretty much just races, with Luke dealing with the bounty on his head and his transformation into "Frankenstein."
I was thoroughly impressed with what director Roel Reine did with the action in this movie despite what I'm assuming to be a limited, DTV budget. There are tons of excellent-looking explosions and some great car stunts. I never once thought I was watching a "low-budget" movie. I'm assuming this is because they got a sweet deal from GM for shooting a bunch of scenes that look like commercials for their cars.
For a movie taking place almost entirely in a mens prison there are still some attractive women around for us to drool over. Lauren Cohan plays the lady reporter in various slutty outfits and Tanit Phoenix plays Luke's navigator. For serve their purposes as eye candy and help move the story along, even if I couldn't understand a word that came out of Tanit Phoenix's mouth.
It's probably not the popular opinion on this site but I can't stand Jason Statham. He's short, can't really act and just doesn't look like an action star to me. He's the main reason I wasn't a fan of DEATH RACE. His "replacement" in this movie, Luke Goss, is bland but he's still 1000x more entertaining and believable than Statham. At the very least he looks the part. Ving Rhames, Sean Bean and Danny Trejo round out the solid supporting cast.
Three basic featurettes:
- The Race Begins: The Evolution of DEATH RACE
- Cheating Death: The Stunts of DEATH RACE 2
- Fast Cars and Firearms: The Cars of DEATH RACE 2
Deleted Scenes (with optional director's intro) - Six minutes of scenes you won't regret not seeing in the finished film.