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Death Race

Get Ready for a Killer Race. 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson 
Starring: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane and Natalie Martinez.  
An image from Death Race

The year is 2012 and the global economy has collapsed. Unemployment and crime are spiralling out of control. The struggling government has handed over control of the prison system to private corporations who run them for profit. One such prison, Terminal Island, holds a popular tournament, known as Death Race, where inmates race for their freedom. There's one catch, all the competitors’ cars are equipped with machine guns and explosives...

Former racing driver, Jensen Ames (Statham), finds himself on this island after being framed for the murder of his wife and child. Meanwhile, the much-loved masked champion Frankenstein has died on the track and the prison warden, Hennessey (Joan Allen), is looking for a replacement. Ames’ only hope for freedom and revenge is to enter and win the death race under the guise of Frankenstein.

“Death Race” is a re-imagining of the cult 70s film “Death Race 2000”. While “Death Race” isn't as offbeat as the original, it more than makes up for this with some truly spectacular action sequences. Director, Paul W. S. Anderson (“Event Horizon” and “Resident Evil”), chose to avoid CGI whenever possible while making the film. This gives the action sequences a realism and immediacy that is so often missing from most heavily CGI-ed action films.

Jason Statham (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “The Transporter”) is on fine form as the jaded inmate Ames, further cementing himself as Hollywood’s new action hero. Joan Allen (“Face/Off”, “The Bourne Ultimatum”) also stands out as the ruthless prison warden with some of the most memorable lines of the film.

“Death Race” is a great and fun action film with some of the most spectacular and explosive car chases you'll see at WSC this year.

George Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)