Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Death Race 2050

Director - G.J. Echternkamp (Frank and Cindy, Virtually Heroes)
Starring - Manu Bennett (Arrow, Spartacus), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, 31), and Marci Miller (XOXO, Most Likely to Die)
Release Date - 2017
Genre - Action/Sci-Fi/ Comedy/Horror
Tagline - "Welcome to the death race"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I might need to turn the comment section off for this review because I'm sure it's going to get deep up in here.  Out of all the horrible, campy, and cheesy films I have seen in my life and out of the hundreds I have reviewed I have yet to see the original Roger Corman classic Death Race 2000.  I have heard the wonders of that film for years but never had the opportunity to check it out.  I've almost ordered the film several times over the years but backed out at the last minute because I enjoy finding films in the wild over ordering them.  Not long ago I was informed that the film's sequel, Death Race 2050, was released on blu.  I was curious about it so I reached out to the PR firm managing it and requested a copy and they were king enough to hook me up.  Now, after seeing the sequel and how wild it is I am not ready to check out the chaos in the first film!
     The film follows driver Frankenstein (Bennett) who is one of four Death Race drivers who compete in the annual Death Race which is held every year to help combat overpopulation.  Frankenstein is the world's most popular driver and the evil corporation behind DR want him dead and so does a rebellion outfit that is fighting against the corporation.  The get one of their own to infiltrate DR and she is assigned to Frankenstein as his co-pilot.  Her plans are to sabotage him and the race but quickly falls herself falling in love with him...and over time he falls for her.  That is until he learns she is fighting with the revolution and was sent to distract him from the race.  He leaves her behind and sets his sights on winning but she finds her way back to him and they set out to bring the corporations down.
     When I shared news that I received the film in to review I was bombarded with social media friends and their love for the film.  Some called it campy gold while others called it the perfect drinking movie.  I had at least 100 people discuss the film with me and only one person was negative about the film and the experience.  As for the sequel, I fucking loved it.  It was not the film I was expecting and I love the hell out of that.  The acting in this one is not award winning but god damn if it's not fun.  The characters are larger than life and the cast is what makes them.  The writing team can take some of the credit but these characters would not be as fun as they are if it wasn't for the cast.  The cast is great and one of the many reason I truly enjoyed this film.  The story for this one is bonkers.  It is politically driven with a modern twist but I was able to see several gags that I have seen over the years from the original film.  Though I have not seen the original film I have still seen the trailer and several highlight reels on YouTube.  I have seen enough to know that many of the gags are recycled or brought up to date.  With that being said, it does not take away from the entertainment of the film.  The movie hits with the humor at the right time, the gore when it's needed, and the action when the film starts to slow down.  The film was perfectly written for the fans of cheesy cinema and over the top films.  Finally, if you want blood then you got it.  This film showcases some fun kills that are just as equally gory as they are bloody.  The kills are very imaginative and fit the style of the film perfectly.  The practical effects look great while delivering the cheese factor but the visual effects were a bit obsessive.  The film over does it when it comes to visual effects.  In some scenes it works and in others it was a complete fail.  Not a lot of consistency in that regards. Overall, Death Race 2050 is a fucking fun film.  Simple as that.  Nothing perfect but sheer entertainment.  I can only hope the original is half as fun as this one!

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