Death Race

Year: 2008
Studio: Universal
Director: Paul W S Anderson
Producer: Roger Corman/Paul Wagner
Writer: Paul W S Anderson
Cast: Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Natalie Martinez
One of the rare trashy action movies that doesn't pretend to be anything other than it is, and does what it promises to do extremely well.

With Roger Corman's equally trashy but more rebellious 1975 cult actioner as a jumping off point, it's a very high concept - more or less the game Carmageddon given flesh.

The archetypal innocent tough guy wrongfully imprisoned is Jason Statham, and when he finds himself framed for the murder of his wife and dumped in a brutal island prison the elegant, icy warden (Allen) gives him a choice; take part in the top rating Death Race that's run in the prison grounds and win and he'll go free.

You can guess the rest - from the general plot to every dramatic beat of the story - so just sit back and enjoy the mechanised adrenalin of the three day race where souped up cars battle using everything from drive-over weapon upgrades to the wits of the drivers and their navigators.

Nothing but fun, but nothing more, and a big surprise from mostly disgraced video game adap director Anderson.

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