Death Race 2 (2010)

DVD Cover (Universal Unrated)
Movie Connections:
Death Race 2000
> Death Race 2000 (1975)
> Death Race (2008)
> Death Racers (2008)
> Death Race 2 (2010)
> Death Race 3: Inferno (2013)
> Death Race 2050 (2017)
> Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy (2018)
Roel Reiné Roel Reiné
Luke Goss Luke Goss
Lauren Cohan Lauren Cohan
Sean Bean Sean Bean
Ving Rhames Ving Rhames
Tanit Phoenix Copley Tanit Phoenix Copley

5.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Action, Action Thriller, Chase Movie, Racing, Road Movie
In the world's most dangerous prison, a new game is born: Death Race. The rules of this adrenaline-fueled blood sport are simple, drive or die. When repentant convict Carl Lucas discovers there's a price on his head, his only hope is to survive a twisted race against an army of hardened criminals and tricked-out cars. --TMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: August 05, 2011
While Death Race was technically a remake, it didn't have much in common with its predecessor. It was nothing more than a braindead action movie, and there's nothing wrong with that, rage of the original's fans notwithstanding. With that said, did said braindead action movie need a prequel setting up the story? Absolutely not.

Luke is one of Markus Kane's best get-away drivers, but things have gone horribly wrong at his last gig. In the middle of the heist, a pair of cops casually wander into the bank, and Luke rushes in to help his partners. In the ensuing scrum, he ends up shooting one of the cops in the head. After a short chase, he is arrested and sent to Terminal Island Prison. A few weeks prior, a riot had broken out at the prison and reporter September Jones was able to catch it and put it on live TV. The ratings were through the roof, and after she, along with the head of Weyland Industries, realizes that audiences were drawn by the real, unadulterated violence, they begin Death Match. Selecting two prisoners at random, the two fight to the death for pay-per-view audiences. Shortly after his arrival, Luke begins to have problems with a fellow inmate, Big Bill (who is a blatant clone of Machine Gun Joe, just less menacing), but meets some allies in Lists and Goldberg. While fighting Bill on Death Match, his old boss Kane sees him on TV, and realizes that his knowledge could come back to haunt him. Fortunately for Kane, he is a man of means, and the falling ratings of Death Match has prompted Jones to up the ante with the Death Race, an auto race complete with machine guns; and Kane has gotten word to the other racers that there is a sizable bounty on Luke's head.

The problem with Death Race 2 is that it serves no function. Prequels are a weird movie to go into, since very rarely does it bring anything new to the table. Sure, maybe it shows an origin story, but we still know a great deal about the outcome just because we've already seen the next chapter. And this doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing; the third Puppet Master showed us how Toulin started, even though we knew he was in no real danger since we know he commits suicide in his later years. That's probably my favorite movie of the series. And even if it doesn't show anything new, the movie might even be able to stand on it's own regardless. The Underworld prequel just served to show us a story that we already knew from beginning to end, but the ride itself made it worthwhile. Death Race 2 offers neither. Nobody gave a damn about the formation of the Death Race, and while the original Frankenstein's story could have been interesting, this just wasn't. This might as well have been produced by Syfy.

Also, from a continuity aspect, the transition from this prequel to Death Race is incredibly awkward. From the unexplained changes in Frankie's crew, which are blatantly ignored, to the insanely lazy way they introduced Hennessey's involvement. Perhaps the biggest grievance is that there is just no mention of Machine Gun Joe at all. The origin of this blood feud would be much more interesting than the origin of the race, and Machine Gun Joe isn't so much as mentioned. There's a reason people would want to watch a prequel, even one that brings nothing new to the table, and Death Race 2 drops that ball, and drops it hard.

Death Race 2 serves absolutely no purpose. Nobody really cared about the circumstances that led up to the race's formation, and even worse, it's not even that entertaining of a movie on its own feet. Plus, I have a huge pet peeve about prequels being numbered sequentially. 4.5/10
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Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 08/05/2011, 02:46 PM
Did the first one serve a purpose?
Tired Tigress #2: Tired Tigress - added 08/05/2011, 03:02 PM
Not really, other than being another mindless Hollywood remake. The original DR2K was fantastic and didn't need a remake.
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