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DVD Review: "Death Race" (2008).

Updated on July 8, 2012

"Death Race".

In my constant attempts to shed some light on some of the DVD's that I own, I am once again presenting yet another movie review. The movie that I'm going to be reviewing in this article is "Death Race". The original movie "Death Race 2000" was released way back in 1975. This was a few years before I was even born, and I've yet to see this movie to this day. The remake that I'm reviewing in this article was released in 2008. I first saw this movie in 2009 when I rented it through Netflix. A few months back while visiting a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Fort Worth, Texas, I happened to spot this movie in the $5 dollar DVD bin. I immediately thought back to the first time I saw this movie, and my intentions on purchasing it someday. This was the perfect opportunity, so I went ahead and bought it. Now that we know how I came about seeing and purchasing "Death Race", lets get into the synopsis, the actors, and the characters they play.


  • Get ready for a killer ride
  • Get ready for a killer race
  • This Friday, may the best man live

Jason Statham as Jensen Ames, and Natalie Martinez as Case.


Plot and actors.

"Death Race" is an action film that stars Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, and Natalie Martinez. It was directed and produced by Paul W.S. Anderson. The film primarily resolves around Jensen Ames, who is portrayed by Jason Statham. Ames is a former stock car racer that is struggling to make ends meet in the collapsed U.S. economy of 2012. Early in the film, Ames finds himself sent to Terminal Island prison for a murder that he didn't commit. While in Terminal Island, Ames learns of a three day racing event titled, "Death Race". The race was created by and is watched over by the sadistic and manipulative prison warden, Hennessy. The character of Hennessy is played by Joan Allen. The race is a pay-per view event that is streamed outside of the prison to buyers willing to pay and watch the event. The race itself consists of various inmates racing on a closed track within Terminal Island. The event is held annually, and If a racer wins the event five times, he is granted his freedom. However, the event is an elimination style tournament where the racers who don't advance to the next days competition, lose their lives. One of the prisoners also racing for his freedom is Machine Gun Joe, played by Tyrese Gibson. Joe has previously won the event 4 times, and quickly becomes a rival of Ames. As Ames advances deeper into the event, he discovers deeper secrets as to why he is in Terminal Island in the first place. All of this leads up to a climatic ending that is certain to have viewers wondering what will happen next.

DVD of "Death Race" that I own.
DVD of "Death Race" that I own.

Thoughts on the film.

If you are familiar with other Jason Statham films, you know that you won't get Academy award type acting. However, you do know that you will most likely get a movie that is full of action, explosions, and fight sequences. Death Race definitely lives up to what we've come to expect from Jason Statham movies. The movie itself kinda puts you in the mind of the video game series called "Twisted Metal". The cars in this movie race against each other, but they are able to become equipped with various weapons to use against the other cars. There is quite a bit of dark humor in the movie, but I think it works well with the overall story. Ian McShane, who portrays the character Coach, does a pretty good acting job. Coach is a voluntary inmate, and one of Jensen Ames allies in the film. Joan Allen's portrayal of warden Hennessy was a bright spot also. She really does well at making the audience hate Hennessy. Everyone else in the film is fairly mediocre to below average acting wise in my personal opinion. However, like I mentioned earlier, we don't expect a lot of quality acting from these types of movies. I know that I didn't. I was expecting a lot of action, and I wasn't disappointed with that whatsoever.

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The verdict.

If you don't go into this movie expecting quality acting or a complicated plot, you will most likely end up enjoying this movie. Just sit back and take it for what it's worth. This movie is rated R, and has a great deal of violence so if that's not your thing, then this movie most likely isn't for you. If you've never seen this DVD and you're a fan of Jason Statham's, do yourself a favor and rent or purchase this movie. Any real Jason Statham fans most likely won't be disappointed. Well those are my thoughts on "Death Race". I hope that you enjoyed the review, and thanks for reading.



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    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 5 years ago from Texas

      Thank you so much eHealer. You are too kind, and thank you for kind words. Thank you ma'am :)

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks again Kev. I like Jason Statham also. Which Transporter movie was your favorite? The first one was the best in my opinion. I actually own the first two. I may do a review on the first one soon. At any rate I'm glad that you enjoyed "Death Race" like I did. Definitely a fun movie :)

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hey Brad, Great hub. I love Jason and he is amazing. You should get a gig as a critic. You know what you're talking about. Thanks!

    • Arren123 profile image

      Arren123 5 years ago from UK

      Super Hub, Brad, yes I've seen it as I like Jason Statham as an actoer, love his Transport movies. Like you say in your verdict if you don't go into expecting expecting quality acting or a complicated plot from the film you will enjoy it, I did. Voted up and interesting :)