100 Min. | Action – Sci-Fi – Thriller | December 2010
IMDB Rating: 5.7
Director: Roel Reine
Staring: Luke Goss, Lauren Cohan, Sean Bean
Death Race 2 Review: Death Race was many miles away from reaching the same levels of black humor and intelligence from the original Death Race 2000, but it nevertheless kept me entertained mainly thanks to its main actor and the violent automotive sequences. And even though there did not seem to be too much material for a sequel, the studio universal did not vacillate to exploit the home market with Death Race 2, released straight-to-DVD. Strictly speaking, this is not a sequel, but a prequel, something which allows a better distribution of the low budget with which it was made. That’s the reason why Death Race 2 leaves the stunts for the ending (with one exception), while it skilfully uses the first hour to establish the origin of the death races, as well as the motivations from the villains and the anti-hero.
The premise from Death Race 2 avoided to become into a simple rehash of Death Race. The main character voluntarily participated in a crime with disastrous consequences and his conviction in the jail is justified, that is the way in which the cruelty from the “real” villains is accentuated, because their total lack of conscience is not illegal, just lucrative. Talking about the villains, the cover from the DVD prominently mentions the presence from the excellent actors Sean Bean and Ving Rhames. Unfortunately, my expectations of seeing them interpreting main characters was unfounded, because they both interpret supporting characters who are not seen involved in the action. That is a pity, because that leaves Luke Goss as the main actor by default, and he is a bit insipid and not very charismatic in his role.
And last but not least the cars. They managed to get back all the original cars from the first film which shows how faithful they are to the film. They know that the fans of the first of the first film want to see some car crushing action. Producers include B-movie master Roger Coreman and the first film’s director Paul Anderson. All in all this may not be the most sensible film, but it sure is one of the best direct-to-DVD action film out there. Kudos to the cast and crew for making a superb prequel to the original. In conclusion, Death Race 2 is a very competent action film.