Thursday, August 28, 2008

Movie Review: The Cine-Sib Reviews "Death Race"

As far as I'm concerned, the summer movie season is OVER. (I'll have a summer retrospective soon -- probably on Labor Day, the unofficial last hurrah of the American summer.)

The Cinema-Mad Sibling, though,is still happy to go to the cinema for all those late-summer B-flicks, those last desperate attempts to squeeze a few last pennies out of a now-weary and visually saturated bunch of movie fans.

So the Sib was off to see "Death Race" with Jason Statham (who, by the way, seems permanently typecast as The Bald Guy Who Likes to Drive -- see "The Italian Job," all the "Transporter" flicks . . . ) Me? I'm not going to waste my pennies. Namely because I'm all out of pennies. Since I just went and pre-ordered the super-duper deluxe "Iron Man" DVD.

Here is the haiku movie review that the Sib turned in:

A video game
Nothing more, nothing less, but
It was fun to watch!

My reply:

Gas is so pricey
Driving's a sad fantasy
Take mass transit, pal

Full Cine-Sib movie review here:

Medium spoilers (as if a movie like this can be spoiled)

You know it's nice to walk into to a movie knowing exactly what to expect - a mindless exercise in action and violence, glorified car carnage and nothing much else. But you know what? That's quite alright because I really didn't require anything else last night. After a day's work, I just wanted to unwind and enjoy 89 minutes of nothing. That's what I found Death Race, a remake of 1975 Death Race 2000, an hour and a half of fun.The ubiqitous Jason Statham is Jensen Ames, a former racecar driver who is framed for his wife's murder and sent to Terminal Island, where the baddest of the bad get out their frustrations by taking part in Death Race, a for-profit web show orchestrated by Joan Allen, head of the prison run by a private company for profit in a broken down U.S. economy of the near future. Ames is recruited by Allen to be her driver and if he successfully wins the next race, he goes free.

There's the rogue's gallery headlined by Tyrese Gibson as rival Machine Gun Joe, who at all costs is determined to win the race and his eventual freedom. Ian McShane is Coach, the amiable head of the crew that works on Ame's racecar, a modified Mustang with tons of cool stuff James Bond and Michael Knight would be proud of. Each racer is paired with a female navigator, for ratings sakes, and Ames' right hand girl played by Natalie Martinez, new comer Cuban eye candy.The race track is littered with power-ups which are activated when the car drives over it. Essentially this plays out like a real-life Mario Kart, but without turtle shells, but rather a sword symbol activates the weapons on each car (which by default are deactivated), a shield activates defensive, and so forth. I won't spoil the fun here, as everything plays out as expected, straight-forward...until the end...

All in all I had a grand ol' time with Death Race. There were cool previews too, for Transporter 3 and Fast & Furious, more action-packed car movies, who would have figured? Another one to check your brain at the door. I'm gonna go rent the original Death Race 2000 now. 4 napalms out of 5.

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