Death Race 2 (Unrated) Review
Written by: alex1176
After watching "Death Race 2" on DVD, two words stood out to me that made up a name; Tanit Phoenix. Previously unknown to me, the 5' 9" South African beauty completely stunned me when she first appeared in the film. The 30-year old actress/model has graced the covers of many men's magazines including "FHM" and has been reported on by websites like www.ign.com. She was also rumored to be the next Wonder Woman. In this film, she plays the hero's love interest and has a few action scenes in which kicks some serious ass. That being said, this direct-to-video prequel to Jason Statham's 2008 remake of "Death Race" is pure popcorn entertainment done quite well. It may not be an award-winner on any level, but considering it's a low-budget movie, the production values truly impress. In fact, I'm surprised in wasn't given a theatrical release since it carries a visual slickness (and big action scenes) usually reserved for the big-screen.
In the movie, actor Luke Goss (the badguy in "Blade II" and "Hellboy 2") plays a professional criminal who works for a mob boss (Sean Bean) that loves him like a brother. Given the task to rob a bank with his boss's hothead nephew, Goss relunctantly accepts the assignment that gets botched by the cops. After a long hot pursuit in the city, Goss is eventually caught by the cops and placed in a prison that is part of an experimental project for a major corporation. The prison hosts a television game called "Death Match" (or something like that) which is big business for network entrepruener Ving Rhames. The rules are simple; two prisoners enter an arena filled with weapons and can either kill or defeat his opponent. Once the t.v. show is killed off due to a prison riot, Rhame's right hand woman goes to work on a new show which implements the same basic rules but introduces racing to the mayhem.
"Death Race 2" includes a twist in its formula by ending the hero's journey with an unlikely conclusion. But when you consider it's a prequel to the first film, the climax is easily the most predictable thing about it. As I stated before the movie includes some impressive production values. It has the look of a major motion picture and I am sure the budget was around $15 million due to the major pyrotechnics and use of licensed studio rock songs. The gore isn't as graphic as one might expect from a movie named "Death Race". It's filled with lots of gunfights and fistfights, but the blood isn't very extreme. And as I said before, Tanit Pheonix is a major hottie. Expect her to do bigger and better things in the near future. Overall, I enjoyed the movie for what it is: braindead entertainment. I only rented it for 3 dollars, so I certainly got my money's worth.