15 reasons to steer clear of Death Race
1. Director, writer Paul W.
2. According to the film, the
3. Compared to the DayGlo colors of Speed Racer, Death Race is filmed in shades of penitential gray, with only occasional splashes of orange (explosions) or red (blood) to offset the visual monotony.
4. Death Race = Hot Rod Magazine + The Road Warrior only less so. I prefer the magazine.
5. For all of the major actors involved, Death Race constitutes an immense backward step in their careers. Jason Statham just starred in The Bank Job, a well-built film in which he actually acts. In Death Race, Statham mostly strains the skin around his bald head until his eyes bulge.
6. Jason Statham has a bunch of tattoos on his body so that the viewer can be reminded of the superior treatment of Viggo Mortenson’s Russian mafia tattoos in Eastern Promises.
7. In her high heels and power outfits, Joan Allen perhaps wishes to channel Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, but any fans of her work from the Bourne series will be appalled and saddened by her presence here.
8. Allen has one good scene where she trains a hidden gun under her desk at Jensen’s crotch in case he gets out of hand. These kinds of scenes are extremely rare in Death Race.
9. Playing a long-term con/racing coach, Ian McShane crudely evokes Al Pacino on a bad hair day.
10. With his penchant for slow motion shots ogling “navigator” Natalie Martinez in tight jeans, Paul W. S. Anderson reminds me of the advertiser’s cinematic style of
12. Death Race gets most confusing during the actual races because
13. Given rising gas prices and its picture of a near future of economic collapse, Death Race makes one wonder about how much longer Americans will enjoy their car culture. In The End of Suburbia (2004), out on DVD, and reviewed in The Chutry Experiment, Gregory Greene explores how demand for fossil fuels has already started to outstrip supply. What will Americans do in 2012 when they can no longer afford gas for their beloved cars? Of course, Paul W. S. Anderson does not explore this connection between the collapse of civilization and the lack of gas as George Miller does in The Road Warrior.
15. It seems appropriate that much of Death Race is set in a penitentiary since the viewer feels imprisoned throughout.