Thursday, August 21, 2008

Movie review: Death Race

If you're looking for one more relatively brainless summer thrill ride of a movie, look no further than "Death Race," out in theaters Friday, Aug. 22. This remake of a Roger Corman film has plenty of action along with a little sex appeal and a bit of gore thrown in for good measure.

Think "Running Man" meets "Mad Max" and you've got a pretty good idea of the story here, as "Transporter" star Jason Statham reprises his bad ass image to play a framed prison inmate who must race to the death in an armor plated Mustang to win his freedom and claim his infant daughter against unbelievable odds and a corrupt corporate prison warden played by Joan Allen. It's a Hollywood-style script filled with plenty of predictability and cliche, but fun nonetheless.

Paul W.S. Anderson directs, the man who also brought us the "Resident Evil" films. If you're a fan, you'll probably like "Death Race" as well. The direction plays out as part music video, part video game, and while the story doesn't have much depth, popcorn summer action movie fans will be pleased with the results.

I give "Death Race" three 50-caliber hood mounted machine gun turrets out of five. The rating is three rather than two strictly because of the presence of the ultra-hot Natalie Martinez, who Anderson showcases quite heavily in the film (see photo for clarification.)

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