Death Race (15)

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The Independent Culture

Fast cars, machine guns, explosions, babes in hotpants – it's everything a 12-year-old boy could want in a movie.

Revamped from the 1975 Roger Corman movie, this stars Jason Statham as a former speedway champ who is, in short order, laid off, framed for his wife's murder, thrown in jail and forced by the prison warden (Joan Allen) to enter the breakneck "auto-carnage" of Death Race. This involves driving a souped-up car and braving whatever one's competitors can throw at you – napalm, missiles, the works. It's all in the name of TV revenues, apparently, this being the near-future.

Statham acts the hardnut hero quite serviceably, though it's horrible to watch Joan Allen's glacial warden cracking under pressure. "Fuck with me," she says, "and we'll see who shits on the sidewalk." I don't even understand what that means.

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