DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Film Review - Death Race

Death Race (15)

Dir. Paul W.S. Anderson

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Gentlemen… Start your engines!

You join us live from the 2012 Grand Prix – the drivers are just taking the first corner… oh my goodness, one has just blown up, another is getting out of his car and beating the living daylights out of a competitor and a third is firing two heavy duty machine guns into the back of an opponent – what is Lewis Hamilton thinking?

Welcome to a whole new way of racing, this is racing enriched with serious weaponry and hot female co-drivers. As my esteemed friend I’m joined in the bullet proof commentary box tonight by John ‘Ford Focus – there’s no substitute’ Richardson what are you thinking? "This film makes boy racers look like feeble Sunday drivers"…
We’re talking insane bloodlust, speed and carnage (with the emphasis on the ‘car’)!?
Back to John: "whatever you do...DON'T get out of the car!"
He’s got a point too as in Deathrace the only place more dangerous than being in one of the modified muscle cars on the track is being outside of on the of the modified muscle cars on the track… It’s enough to give the Green Cross Code man a hernia just watching!
Final word from John: "I'd like to see how the lollypop lady handles this kind of traffic!" Yes, me too, it’s much more carmageddon than the school run…

So – is this the film for you? Well, if the thought of the director of Resident Evil updating the camp B-movie nasty Death Race 2000and resetting it in a prison where the prize on offer for wining the race is freedom but when they say there’s no point for second place, that’s because the person in second place is probably dead!
It’s a future where crazed inmates compete to the death live on TV pay-per-view and millions of viewers tune in to see newly convicted Jensen Ames (Statham) - framed for murdering his wife – take on the mantel of legendary masked racer ‘Frankenstein’.

Ian McShane is on hand to add a spot of reflection as Ames’ team Coach (who likes Death Racing so much he’s stayed on in prison after his sentence) and there’s obligatory babe action from Natalie Martinez as his co-driver, who comes equipped with her own set of impressive airbags (see below).

"Martinez - co-pilot of your dreams..."

Snippet of plot taster from evil Warden Hennessey (Joan ‘Bourne’ Allen): “the fans call Frankenstein. A man so disfigured by crashes that he's forced to wear a mask. His return to the track is highly anticipated, and therein lies my problem. No one knows yet, but poor Frank died on an operating table not long after his last race. Anyone can wear the mask, but not just anyone can drive the car. You have the skills required to keep the legend alive. I want you to become Frankenstein. The chances are good. I'm offering you your freedom, Mr. Ames. If it's not worth risking your life for, what is?”

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10 but '-' is bad whereas '+' is good):

Endorphin Stimulation: öööööö (6)
+ Disengage brain for best results!

Tasty Action: öööööööö (8)
+ Broom broom bang…

Gratuitous Babeness: öööööööö (8)
+ Martinez is pure eye candy

Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
+ Stupid and proud

Comedic Value: öööööö (6)
+ Some funnies- look out for the pre death subtitle of 14k

Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
If you like violent action and cars you 'Auto' like this alot!!

Liable to make you:
"pull doughnuts in the carpark - whatever you drive"

DM Poster Quote:
“when I hit the dashboard I'd like you to launch the Model 7 Russian Armory, armor piercing, self arming missiles!"

Not everyone will like this... here's proof: http://chriscurtis.typepad.com/weblog/2008/08/death-race.html

In fact - one of best pals Mike - whose opinion I value above most had this to say...

"Man, I can't believe you gave the unbelievably bad Death Race 8 out of 10, were you high? Or drunk out of your mind?

I dragged four people along to see that sorry piece of sh*t and now they all hate me, and you.

Of course it won't affect our friendship, you have enough in the bank with me to withstand a much harder kick in the teeth than this, but your film review standing has slid down the league table to somewhere below the hit-and-miss Jonathan Woss and only above The Sun's 'The Sneak' on goal difference.

Your 'if Matt likes it I'll like it' licence has been revoked, and replaced with 'take it under advisement' status.Talk of the devil, just got a text from you. Yes, you are right, I didn't expect intellectual or poetic genius that would stir the soul from Death Race. What I did hope for; a half decent plot or back story on which to hang the action, some characters I even gave a tagnut of a sh*t for, or even just some characters, tasty high octane four wheeled action sequences that got my blood pumping and not this pedestrian limp rubbish which continually drained the pace with pointless cut-aways to the warden smiling or scowling (about as scary as the ghost train ride on Brighton Pier) or Lovejoy looking like he was passing kidney stones.

I hoped for some humour, some classy one-liners and some clever twists; the film could only muster a bucketful of turgid ancient cliches, delivered by apologetic performances. At one point near the end of this painfully long B-road car journey one of the black posse looks straght into the camera and says 'this is bad.' Most of the audience agreed wholeheartedly, one man sitting behind me nearly choking on his coke as the moment delivered some much needed entertainment. I guess I shouldn't have expected more from the director who spewed forth such vomitus as Alien vs Predator, Soldier, and Mortal Kombat but he did do the Resident Evil trilogy which I do rather like. The only good bits were the TV coverage footage and that would account for less than a minute of the film. In summary, I thought this film was one of the worst I've ever endured, it sucked the sweat off a dead man's balls."

Ouch... so there you at least have an alternative view to um, add balance?

"Mike is the one of the left..."

But I still kind of liked Deathrace - which is just plain odd.

1 comment:

Tee Chess said...

I consider ‘pretty darn good’ for a movie like this, held out for release in January, a ringing endorsement vs. what I expected to read: “It’s more entertaining to shove a fork in your eyes rather than see this film.wouldn’t mind trying to catch it on a weeknight when it is only $5, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I didn’t get around to it until its DVD release.The Book of Eli Quotes