Sunday, January 23, 2011

Death Race 2 | Review

Poor Sean Bean. It's hard going from Lord of the Rings to be in... Death Race 2... Uh.. okay..
I don't really get why this movie is called Death Race 2 cause this isn't really Death Race 2. As in, this doesn't take place after Death Race, it's a prequel.. it's like calling that Star Trek movie Star Trek VIII: Namaste. Anyway so this movie is a prequel to the 2008 movie centering on the origins of Frankenstein.
So for those who don't know, here's a little recap; Death Race takes place in a universe where John McCain becomes President and fucks up the economy and prisons are now run by heinous corporations for profit by making inmates race to the death in gigantic cars with super guns promising the winner of 5 races his freedom. In the race's history, the most famous racer was Frankenstein; a mystery man who was said to have suffered so many scars from racing that he wears a mask but is a pretty badass racer. So Death Race 2 is his origin... A fucking lame origin.
Now boo me all you want but I'll stick by my young, less handsome self and defend my 2008 review that Death Race was a good movie. I liked Death Race. Sure it ain't no True Grit but what the hell do you expect from a movie called Death Race. For a B movie, it delivers what it promised to deliver and then some. So stop going ape shit about the rating I gave it and spam my email about how I gave it a 7 out of 10 but gave movies like Lovely Bones lower or something. It's all about the genre and expectation of the movie. So shut it and read the review.
Anyway, straight up let me just say that Death Race 2 disappointments in a big way. A smaller budget restrain doesn't give you the right to come up with an epic piece of shit that manages to surpass the awfulness of  Skyline. Everything you've seen in Death Race; the style, tone, feel, races and action has been copied, ripped and pasted directly into this sloppy, incoherent mess.
Let's talk about the actors first of all.. Luke Goss seems to work out fine as Frankenstein if he just keeps his mouth shut. He's that kinda guy you'd be afraid of cause he's so big and scary but the second he opens his mouth and talks you quickly realize he either has one of two things. (1) Small genitals. (2) Mental retardation. His character speaks like how a geek speaks to a pretty girl. Which is how I speak to a pretty girl. Wise cracking, over-emphasizing jokes and laughing at himself while constantly changing the pitch of his voice. Doesn't help either that he acts like a whole buddy buddy dude trying to please his crew and then becomes totally cold and badass seconds later. It's almost bipolar in a way he's doing this; I'm not sure.. I haven't had my morning gin yet. Maybe he and the director was on gin when they were making the movie.
The next is Tanit Phoenix, who clearly got the role by sleeping with every male in the casting department. She somehow looks like a cross between Carla Bruni and plastic surgery with Natalie Martinez's body superimposed. This woman can't act, she can't even say lines right. I laugh so hard at the unbelievable number of times her voice was dubbed over by herself because the original was probably so bad but they can't reshoot so they resulted to her just saying her lines into a microphone while the editor try to paste it over the video and stitch it together so we won't notice. But I did. Editor fail.
Danny Trejo and Frederick Koehler were the better parts of the film. Both served more of the spine of the movie and brought most of the connection between this movie and Death Race. Also helps that they are great to watch paying off each other as this incredibly awkward yet organic team up. And then there's Sean Bean and Ving Rhames who are just in it for the cheque and poor Lauren Cohan who must be crying now after seeing herself put way too much effort into acting well in a movie that will probably derail her career.
The action scenes in this were boring. I've seen them done before in Death Race and in other movies and I've seen them done much better. While there was technically nothing wrong with them, I was left with this sense of unfulfillment. And that's strange for me, cause I like carcasses splattering all over my TV screen. It's really enjoyable. Perhaps the reason why the race scenes in this felt so hollow compared to Death Race because there was just more at stake in terms of story and character in the original than in this piece of shit.
In Death Race we root for Jason Stathham, a man wrongly accused for murder and is trying to win the race to win his freedom to find his daughter and take care of her. His motivation deepens when he uncovers a greater scheme behind Death race involving him and the warden and races to rebel. In this movie Luke Goss, who is unlikeable and deserves to be in prison is just racing because the word "race" is in the title. There's really no incentive or reason as to why he'd be doing this sort of thing.
So this movie pretty much blows and sucks balls from all angles I can think of. Oh well. See ya. Gonna pour some gin now.

RATING: 2/10

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