Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 7
Carl Lucas, aka legendary driver Frankenstein, returns to fight for his and his crews lives when Death Race is taken global!
So Weyland of Weyland Enterprises is selling the still wildly popular Death Race franchise to upstart Niles York (Dougray Scott), this is how this whole mess gets started. Niles is brash and headstrong and wants nothing more than to take Death Race all around the world, bigger and more numbers of races, more exotic locales, and of course much more gruesome deaths. He buys the franchise from Weyland and subjects Ving Rames character to a speech about getting old and retiring in favor of new blood, to which Weyland does get the last word but leaves like a beaten dog. Carl Lucas, played by actor Luke Goss, is still driving as the masked Frankenstein, having won four races in a row and anticipating winning his fifth and his freedom. Only to discover, as he’s dragged before Niles Young and informed he gets to lose this new Death Race if he wants to live, that he’s being transferred to a hellhole of a prison in Africa for the newest installment of the show. Danny Trejo as pit crew boss Goldberg, along with everyones favorite genius Fred Kohler as Lists, and Lucas’ female driver Tanit Phoenix as Katrina Banks, and Robin Shou as 14K from the previous movie, are all transferred along with Frankenstein.
First thing at the new prison is, of course, the fight that inevitably comes with new fish being brought in. Frankenstein was wearing his mask when they brought him in, but during the fight the mask is knocked off and Carl Lucas is revealed to be still alive, to be his amazed pit crew and leading lady, who all thought he had died in a previous movie. Some minor resentment is quickly gotten around as all the Protags realize, hey, we’re in Death Race once again and if we want to live, we gotta work together. Then we’re subject to another Death Race first, the female elimination round, in which sixteen women try to kill eachother down to ten, each vying for the right to ride with the Death Race drivers. We have an ambitious new director, Niles Young himself in the taping room, several new drivers that are all psycho in their own ways, and a new course in the Kalahari desert that leads the drivers to civilian interference and participation. Much to-do is made about Frankensteins reputation and how he can easily be replaced due to simply wearing a mask, how the legend will endure and live on, and the film certainly proves that. Also a Death Race first, there is what we in the film industry call a “Gotcha!” ending that I won’t spoil, but is quite good and deliciously ironic.