Posts Tagged ‘death_race’

So, I Watched Death Race Instead

January 26, 2009

Cartoon Network aired “Superman: Doomsday,” the direct-to-DVD movie, on Saturday and I took the opportunity to DVR it so I could view it Sunday evening.

I watched about 15 minutes (before they broke for the first set of commercials) and stopped, fast forwarded to the end and then deleted it.

The “plot development” was painfully slow and equally as boring.  Free advice for what it’s worth, when you put “Doomsday” in the title of the movie, that means that as a viewer I want to see ‘splosions and I want to see them sooner rather then later.


So, with 75 minutes of newly available free time, I decided to order Death Race in HD via On Demand.

Within the first three minutes, I got ‘splosions and I was happy.

Then I saw “In Association With Roger Corman”  and I was ecstatic.

Then I saw both Roger Corman and Paula Wagner listed as producers, and I knew I was in good hands.

In another reality, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson would have been one of Roger Corman’s go-to guys at his studio in the 70’s.

Anderson makes movies that are, for lack of a better term, the type of films that you know what you’re getting into when you pay your money and sit down.

Further, Anderson understands what he needs to deliver to the audience, and he delivers it.  And then delivers it again.  And again.

His movies are good and fun.  Not great.  But they’re worth the watch.

So, what does he have to deliver in Death Race?  Well, he’s got the following checklist:

  • ‘splosions.  The less CGI, the better.  Practical effects with lots of fire and twisted metal.  Stuff that demands you yell out, “Holy c**p!”
  • Lots of people shooting at each other and brass flying all over the place.  Again, practical and not CGI shell casings.
  • Fast cars driving insanely fast.
  • Cool cars driving insanely fast.
  • Roger Corman’s approval (i.e. “kissing the ring”)
  • A script that borrows from some other high-octane films like The Running Man, Fast & The Furious and of course Death Race 2000.
  • Jason Statham with his shirt off for the ladies.
  • A good looking lady like Natalie Martinez.
  • The occasional bits of humor.
  • A bad guy girl like Joan Allen that the audience is going to love to hate.

And like I said.  He delivers.  And then delivers again.  And again.

Jason Statham is easily the greatest action hero currently working in movies and probably in the Top 5 of some Top 10 list somewhere.

It is my sincere hope that Statham becomes bigger then he currently is and that the cult groundswell that continues to grow around him eventually pushes him over the top.  He deserves it.  I’d say that someone should toss him a comic book role, like Hawkeye in Iron Man 2, because that’s usually money in the bank but that said, I’d rather see him use that time to do more work on the characters he’s done in the Transporter and Crank movies instead (they’re just too much damn fun).

Joan Allen plays the baddie, and like everything she’s in; she just  nails it.  She’s fantastic.  As is Ian McShane, who is a constant reminder that one of the best shows ever, Deadwood, will never have the ending it deserves.  Speaking of which, a demerit to Anderson for not giving McShane a line with the word ‘****sucker‘ in it.  

Overall, I’d rate the film at about a B- and I’d say that when it comes on HBO or it arrives in your NetFlix que, sit down and watch it with someone you love to shout at the television with and have a lot of fun.

Oh, and avoid Superman: Doomsday.  Pffffff.  Terrible.