Death Race 2 (2010)

Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Luke Goss, Lauren Cohan, Sean Bean, Ving Rhames
Explores the origins of the first 'Frankenstein' car driver, Carl 'Luke' Lucas, who died in a race at the beginning of the first film.
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 18 Jan 2011 Released:
  • 18 Jan 2011 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

Trailer:

A very entertaining prequel8/10
Death Race was many miles away from reaching the same levels of black humor and intelligence from the original Death Race 2000, but it nevertheless kept me entertained mainly thanks to its main actor and the violent automotive sequences. And even though there did not seem to be too much material for a sequel, the studio Universal did not vacillate to exploit the home market with Death Race 2, released straight-to-DVD. Strictly speaking, this is not a sequel, but a prequel, something which allows a better distribution of the low budget with which it was made. That's the reason why Death Race 2 leaves the stunts for the ending (with one exception), while it skilfully uses the first hour to establish the origin of the death races, as well as the motivations from the villains and the anti-hero. And I have to say that the final result is a very entertaining experience.

The premise from Death Race 2 avoided to become into a simple rehash of Death Race. I particularly liked to see the fact that the "hero" is not an unfairly accused martyr, nor he is trying to prove his innocence. The main character voluntarily participated in a crime with disastrous consequences and his conviction in the jail is justified; that is the way in which the cruelty from the "real" villains is accentuated, because their total lack of conscience is not illegal...just lucrative. Talking about the villains, the cover from the DVD prominently mentions the presence from the excellent actors Sean Bean and Ving Rhames. Unfortunately, my expectations of seeing them interpreting main characters was unfounded, because they both interpret supporting characters who are not seen involved in the action. That is a pity, because that leaves Luke Goss as the main actor by default, and he is a bit insipid and not very charismatic in his role. I would have undoubtedly preferred to have seen Bean or Rhames in that role.

Despite Goss' weak performance, I enjoyed Death Race 2 pretty much because of the screenplay, Roel Reine's dynamic direction and the delirious scenes of action, violence and big explosions. Those sequences are very exciting and well filmed.

In conclusion, Death Race 2 is a very competent action film with which I took a pleasant surprise, and I recommend it if you are looking for having an exciting and very entertaining time.
Surprise Surprise9/10
If there is a straight to DVD movie that is good than this would be your cup of tea. Now i was not a huge fan of the first one it was just a fun action movie with lots of deadly car crashes. This one almost tops it and believe it or not the acting is not horrible for a direct to DVD smash up. If you are bored one night and just want to watch a fresh and fun movie go get this. This movie takes place before the original and how Frankenstein was invented. Don't expect academy awards won here, the action scenes are done very well and the racing was done just as well as the first if not better. If you are looking for popcorn fun than this would be it.
Straight to DVD sequel that delivers.8/10
I know that like most of you, as well as I, were not expecting much from a straight to DVD sequel from a theater movie which included a few famous actors & had a great budget while this sequel had fewer actors & budget.

The entire movie as you will all know is a prequel explaining the beginnings of Frankenstein. The story flows quite nicely and explains a lot about the origin of Frankenstein while a little bit of the guy who becomes Frankenstein.

The movie is well worth the watch if you're interested on learning more about the back story to Death Race 2. That's what this film is for, not to deliver a sequel that brings more action, blood & gore (although it does) but it brings in quite a story.

I don't want to spoil anything as far as the climax, but overall the whole movie is like any typical straight to DVD sequel. Has some action here, talking there, all flows like a regular movie.

What made my jaw drop, and I mean drop even the second time I watched it, was the ending. The ending is phenomenal, truly amazingly executed. It leaves you with no questions (as long as you followed the story) and leaves it set up for Death Race 1.

Overall, worth the watch if you got the time.
This film doesn't suck that much!! Honestly!!7/10
First things first. This is a mid/low budget sequel following a partially successful remake of a classic 70s cult movie. So it is obvious that this film is going to blow!

Well it does, but not that bad. The action is great, the spirit of the uber-powerful uncaring corporation is encapsulated superbly by Lauren Cohan, Tanit Phonex is painfully beautifully and the plot chugs along happily.

You can't take the film too seriously, I mean it appears that barbaric, run-for-profit womens prisons of the future all provide their inmates with extensive make-overs before a riot, but it is good fun.

The main stumbling block is the dialouge, it really is awful. I sincerely mean that, awful.

This film greatly out-stripped by expectations (which were low) but if you like action and gorgeous women then this is definitely for you.
Misleading title, minuscule budget, but massive thrills6/10
Be honest, was the 2008 Death Race film (itself a remake of the 1975 B movie Death Race 2000) actually avant garde cinema? No it was not! It was a loud, visceral, simple action movie; all style, little substance in the grand Paul WS Anderson tradition. This cheap direct to video prequel, not a sequel as the "Death Race 2" title might seem to imply, is just more of the same. Heck even the main characters looks the same only with different names.

Now fans of the 2008 crash and burn thrill ride of a movie are in for a treat here. In Death Race 2, we discover the origins of the dangerous game; how it went from a simple prison fight caught on camera to full blown TV ratings dependent gladiatorial combat and then, to boost ratings, the brutal Death Race. Anybody remember the cool sounding masked Driver "Frankenstein" who appeared at the beginning of 2008's Death Race? Well here is his origin story too. Before he became the famous Frankenstein, Carl Lucas (Luke Goss) was a getaway car driver for a crime boss Markus Kane (Sean bean). A heist gone wrong landed Carl a life sentence at Terminal island penitentiary, a prison famous for its broadcasts of "Death Match". With ratings of Death Match plummeting, one of the organizers "September Jones" witnesses Carl's driving skills and decides to revamp the games into "Death Race". Nine cars, three rounds, five wins to freedom. The no holds barred car-nage has just begun. As Carl puts his skills to the test, his former boss is planning his death, and he has someone on the inside to do it.

Sound familiar? To say that the writers were lazy is an understatement. They basically took the exact same character types from the 2008 film and changed their names to be new characters. In other words, we got all the uninspired lines, one dimensional (and slightly racist) characterization, and minimal character development of the original show, but none of the star power the likes of Jason Stratham and Tyrese Gibson. Star power alone was what made the original character bearable and now with that gone, they are not as interesting to watch. Fans would recognize Robin shou and Frederick Koehler reprising their roles of "14K" and "Lists".

The main attraction here has always been the cars and the carnage. Despite having less than one third of the budget of Paul WS Anderson's 2008 film, Death Race 2 does a wonderful job of replicating all the excitement and adrenaline of the races. Perhaps too good a job as some scenes look 100% copied and pasted from that film complete with similar camera angles, same chain of events and even similar lines of dialog. The cars themselves and the sets do not look as well designed as its predecessor but remember, this took place before the 2008 film and as such cars get rebuilt and the place gets upgraded as the days go by.

With the target audience being those who loved the brainless 2008 Death Race, Death Race 2 delivers no more than what they expect. If you thought its predecessor was bad, Death Race 2 would not change that impression. It is fun, it is violent, it is a glorified B movie just like Roger Corman's DeathRace 2000 and Paul WS Anderson's remake, and it is surprisingly well shot for a direct-to-video film. Definitely worth at least a rental but do familiarize yourself with the 2008 movie before jumping into this.