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DVD Reviews

Death Race 2

Where else could you see a man break a basketball with his bare hands and Danny Trejo play a guy named Goldberg?

Yes, it’s “Death Race 2,” a prequel to the Jason Statham remake a few years back. The story revolves around the creation of the Death Race, which oddly matches up to the plot of the previous film, not to mention the original film, “Death Race 2000.” In simplest terms (which is really the possible way way to discuss this film’s narrative), the film follows Carl Lucas (Luke Goss), who, I’m told from IMDB, was the Frankenstein in the first film who was killed in the first film’s race.

Anyway, we see how he came to become Frankenstein, starting as a prisoner who is recruited by the vile but beautiful September Jones (Lauren Cohen) to participate in a prison-centric reality show — first “Death Match,” the first incarnation where prisoners simply fight to the death, then “Death Race,” where they race to the death in weaponized vehicles controlled by special plates in the road that arm their weapons.

Simple enough, right? Well, add in the “Mexican Jew” Goldberg and a couple of other friends, along with a bevy of racial and demographic stereotypes. The redneck character isn’t even afforded a name — he’s simply known as “Hillbilly,” though, in all fairness, he is dispatched as soon as he’s introduced.

Including guys like Ving Rhames and Sean Bean (doing his best Sean Connery impression), this sequel is trying to capture the spirit of the first film, which was dumb to the bone but nonetheless fun. This go-round is a bit too derivative and loses some of that spirit.

It’s a virtual carbon copy of the first film (and of course doesn’t even sniff its proverbial jock). It’s really a lot of jacked-up muscle cars roaring around, shooting each other to pieces, causing car crashes that produce instant explosions. You pretty much know what you’re getting there.

The disc includes both a “rated” and “unrated” version of the film. I only watched the unrated version but am wondering how sanitized the unrated version was, considering it was, for a film of this type, relatively tame. There was a little blood and some obscured sexuality (which is to say only scant boobage).

Other bonus features include deleted scenes, a director’s montage, a couple of featurettes and director’s commentary.

Film: 2.5 Yaps
Extras: 3 Yaps

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2 Responses to “Death Race 2”

  1. Danny Trejo and Motorhead, that is one bad a$$ trailer. Looking forward to seeing it.

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