Death Race (2008)

The road to victory is paved with skulls!

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: March 9, 2022 (URL is not
Available on: Netflix
Content release date: 2008-07-22

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Review Rating: 8 out of 10

In a not-too-distant future where prisons feature executions as live entertainment, Jensen Ames the former stockcar driver is wrongly convicted of killing his wife and sent to take part in the biggest execution show of them all—the Death Race!

Having seen the original Death Race 2000 all of once, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this take on it. Happily, I was not disappointed. Jason Statham throws himself into every single role he gets, whether it’s Chev Chelios trying to beat his own ticking timebomb self, or Turkish with the thick accent trying to figure his way out of this mess, or Frank Martin just generally kicking butt. And this role is no exception, Statham does it all, right down to the deadpan expression right before BANG! you’re dead and that little ‘I win’ smile.

The basic idea is very simple: the Death Race inside a prison is a no-holds-barred race in armored and weaponed-to-hell cars around a huge track, where prisoners basically attempt to kill each-other along with winning the race. Win five races and you win your freedom. At least that’s the theory, as no-one’s actually done it yet. The warden Hennesy, played by Joan Allen, seems to be a bit disinclined to play fair, on really anything, including how she got Ames to the prison in the first place. But that’s actual plot, and we want car crashes and violent deaths!

All in all, Death Race is a great ride, a little something for everyone, and not one to miss!