Death Race 2
Terminal Island Penitentiary is one of many prisons that have gone private and where inmates are being used to recycle scrap and buy weapons cheap. To get some additional income, the company running the facility has set up Death Match, a pay-per-view TV show where prisoners fight between each other until one is killed or one of the competitors submitting. With the ratings going downhill, the makers are looking for something new to attract audiences and come up with Death Race, a new show that’s supposed to appeal to the same crowd that liked Death Match, but uses more of the facility’s premise and has inmates race against each other in souped up cars.
Carl Lucas has recently been put in jail for life after a failed bank robbery but while he’s accepted his faith, his mob boss Markus Kane hasn’t. He wants Lucas dead to make sure he will never talk about Kane’s involvement in the robbery. In order to survive, Lucas seems to have only one option left: win Death Race enough times to secure a pass to freedom, the ultimate prize for a winner of the show.
Sound and Vision:
The image leaves you with mixed feelings, pretty much like the movie overall. At times things look really good with sprays of blood and random debris looking quite detailed, but then there are murky textures, some soft shots and black levels that go all over the place. The contrast is over the top and the overall look of the movie just feels cheap.
The sound comes head on and you can take that literally. When there aren’t any races happening, all of the focus goes to the front without the rears getting any attention. When the races are on, then we get the full audio spectrum being actively used, but also all over the place without much detail. Just like the image quality, it’s like things were made on the cheap for some entertaining effects but without much care and attention.
- Audio Commentary track
- Deleted scenes
- Deleted Scenes Montage
- The Race Begins: The Evolution of the Death Race
- Cheating Death: The Stunts of ‘Death Race 2′
- Fast Cars and Firearms: The Cars of ‘Death Race 2′
A bunch of boring extras that hardly go beyond the standard press kit material
Death Race with Jason Statham was somewhat of a remake of the old classic with Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine but moved the scene from outdoor racing to a closed track within a prison facility. With that move, a lot of the charm from the original got lost and director Paul W.S. Anderson didn’t manage to give us much in return. We thought that would be the end, but to our surprise, a prequel has surfaced.
Roel Reiné, who hasn’t done anything notable before Death Race 2, got the director’s chair this time and to replace Jason Statham as the hardass of the movie, we get Luke Goss. Sound promising? No, it doesn’t, and it isn’t.
Death Race 2 goes back to the origins of Death Race and gives a broader spectrum to the story in the first movie, but that’s about it. For the rest it’s a mindless movie that’s inconsistent and bland as hell. The lead character is supposed to be a bad-ass killer but goes out of his way to help other drivers and people, co-pilots are little more than eye candy for teens watching the movie, and TV viewers seem to automatically know when brutal action is going on in a show as they suddenly start changing channel somehow. Are they psychic? These are just a few examples of how Death Race 2 misses the ball, and it misses the ball a lot.
So isn’t there anything good to say about Death Race 2? Well, there is. The ending is actually rather fantastic and shows there was plenty of potential. And therefore it’s all the more sad to see that all that potential hasn’t been used.
All in all, Death Race 2 is something for the fans of the original and they’ll probably forgive the movie for its many flaws.