Death Race 2 (Review)

DEATH RACE 2
(1/18/11; Action)
Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Sean Bean, Tanit Phoenix, Robin Shou
SCR: Tony Giglio / DIR: Roel Reiné
MPAA: Rated R for brutal violence, pervasive language and some sexual content.
1 hour 36 mins

Oddly-named follow-up to the Death Race (2008) remake is a direct-to-video prequel that explores the origins of Luke Lucas (Luke Goss), the first driver called “Frankenstein,” a character killed in the original film and its reboot.

This flick also uses retroactive continuity to explain the origin of the famed prison island race, but forget about all that. This is all about the badassery of watching prisoners trash-talk each other and compete in high-stakes driving violence. Sure, it’s cheap, but I’ve seen worse on the big screen.

Goss’ Frankenstein character was originally played by David Carradine in Death Race 2000 (1975), a role he reprised in voiceover in the 2008 version. Regarding newcomer Goss: his biggest role previous to this was appearing as the monster in a Hallmark TV movie version of … wait for it … Frankenstein.

You can’t make this stuff up, kids.

(Universal Studios)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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