Texas has been hit with a flu epidemic. Additionally, my friends and neighbors are dropping like flies with stomach viruses, strep throat, and everything else cold weather-related. Personally, I had strep throat right before Christmas and now I’m battling a chest-cough for the ages. So, aided by a DVR, humidifier, and a hot toddy, I present this liveblog of Death Race.
There’s like four pages of typed exposition. Basically, in the future, Americans watch prisoners in a death race. It’s like Fast & Furious + Gladiator. Or, Gamer, with cars. Or, high stakes Days of Thunder. The first scene is the Death Race.
Tyrese Gibson is a star of this movie. His first line, “Why won’t this son of a b*tch die?!?” I don’t know, Tyrese!
There’s a lot of dirty cars driving around shooting.
Car explosion! A car just flew like thirty feet in the air.
I can’t tell what’s happening now. Whoever was holding the camera apparently was trying to breakdance at the same time. I’m getting motion sickness.
Paul W.S. Anderson directed this. He also directed some of the Resident Evil series, Mortal Kombat, as well as The Three Musketeers. We’re in for a treat.
Jason Statham is working in some kind of foundry. He looks pretty mad. His foundry is closing, presumably going out of business. Before leaving work for the last time, Statham looks at pictures of his wife and child. That probably means that his family is about to meet an untimely demise. I’m sensing some of Vin Diesel’s A Man Apart here. Or Punisher. Or The Fugitive.
Oh crap, the SWAT team just showed up, I bet they want Statham! SWAT team is fighting the workers for some reason. Jason Statham is fighting the SWAT team. He’s really mad still. It’s unclear why SWAT showed up.
Somehow there were no repercussions from fighting the SWAT team (yet), because Statham just took the bus home and is now talking to his wife. He just took his shirt off. It’s like live-action Pinterest.
Statham is playing with his baby. His wife is about to be killed. Sadly I am right. She is dead. Statham got framed for his wife’s death! The cops arrest him.
Fast forward six months, Statham is in prison, the same prison where the death racers come from. Statham has his whole shirt off! I’m feeling insecure about myself. Anyway, now Statham is nude and getting beat up. Man, he looks REALLY mad. Guess what, prison guard? Statham never forgets.
The lady from the Bourne movies is running this prison. Joan Allen. I guess Treadstone sunk her. She probably had Statham framed on purpose to get him in the death race.
Statham is meeting his cell mates. They obviously have seen Statham on Pinterest, because they are making eyes at him. He beats them up and says, “I slipped.”
Statham is sitting in the cafeteria for the first time. I’m pretty sure he’s going to have to fight someone. He still won’t wear a whole shirt. Ok, a white supremacist just sat at his table. He spit in Statham’s food. Tyrese got out of the cafeteria. Someone tries to beat up Statham! Statham fights everyone with a food tray! Why do they have metal food trays in prison!
Statham is in Joan Allen’s office now. She is talking about how he’s a good driver. Here we go. This is why he’s in prison. She wants him to be the “the masked driver”, the perennial audience favorite. If he wins the race, he gets out of prison. Joan Allen is like three inches taller than Statham. Long story short, he’s going to end up in that race, even if he doesn’t want to at first. And Ian McShane is going to coach him to victory. Oh, his name is actually Coach. We’ll call him Haymitch. I can’t imagine that Statham’s team of helpers is going to teach the end credits unscathed. Oh, Statham’s navigator is from the women’s prison. I predict some amorous tension. Tyrese walks up to our gang in the rec yard and talks trash. I think he and Statham are gonna be BFFs come race time.
Ok, the race is about to start. Or, from what the graphics are telling us, heat one of three. The cars are lining up, the pit crews are make last minute preparations. Oh uh, the women’s prison navigators just arrived! They are NOT dressed appropriately. We meet Statham’s navigator, Case. She’s all sassy and thinks Statham is cute. She’s got a hard exterior but a heart of gold. Kind of like our boy Statham. I can’t wait ‘til they’re at cocktail parties and they get to tell everyone how they met.
The race has just started! For this scene, the director told the cameraman to just throw the camera towards the actors. Lots of rapid zooming and shaking. I have no idea what’s happening. All I can tell is that everything looks really grimy and death metaly. It’s like Mario Kart on bath salts.
“Wakey wakey!” says Tyrese.
I seriously can’t tell what’s happening in the race. Tyrese is being kind of a diva. Y’all, Statham is FOCUSED.
Whoa, it IS like Mario Kart. You run over the pictures of what you want (shields, weapons, mushrooms) and then you get it.
“Feel it, baby!” says one racer. Someone’s car just exploded for some reason. There’s smoke everywhere. Someone just slipped on “oil”, which we all know is Death Race code for Mario Kart’s banana peel.
“What’s my name?!?” says one driver to a crashed car.
Pop quiz: Which of these three phases was just said in the past thirty seconds?
(a) Come on!
(b) Show me what ya got!
(d) I’m back!
(e) All of the above.
The answer is (e).
Haymitch just coached Statham: “Either lose ‘em or kill em.” Statham takes this as a sign to tell Case to get in his lap. I’m not sure how that helped but a car just exploded and Tyrese drove through it. You could really say that this movie is “firing on all cylinders.”
Oh no! Statham just found out that one of the drivers killed Statham’s wife! He’s lost all concentration. I wasn’t aware he still remembered his wife after that whole “Get in my lap” business a few minutes ago. But, once again, Statham looks really mad.
Apparently the Death Race works more like Olympic swimming heats than a NASCAR race. There are a few days between the three heats.
Statham confronts Joan Allen about how she framed him to get him to race. She kicks out her staff so they can talk in private. I think she blackmails him into racing so that he can keep his daughter, who is named Piper. In all seriousness, that’s a cute name.
It turns out Haymitch was up for parole three years ago but he couldn’t leave. He’s kind of like the philosopher king of prison. This is kind of like The Longest Yard now. I don’t think Haymitch is gonna make it.
Tyrese is reading the Bible! He has a razor blade in his Bible!
In the next scene, Statham confronts the guy who he found out killed his wife (another driver). The prison guard from way earlier was in on killing Statham’s wife! This guard is going to get wrecked before credits roll. The guards break up the fight.
Statham is doing shirtless pullups. We get it, Statham.
Out of the blue, Statham asks Case if she killed the former masked driver. She did! Because Joan Allen told her to in order to secure her freedom! Man, who can a guy trust in a death race? Statham wrecks Tyrese.
“D*mn!” says Tyrese.
Statham is going after the guy who killed his wife.
“There’s someone I need to kill,” says Statham. It’s hard to describe what happens after that. Long story short, Statham was driving around in reverse shooting the guy who killed his wife. Then Statham killed the guy.
Tyrese just kicked out his navigator. He’s a real diva.
“Release the Kraken!” says Joan Allen! It’s a semi-truck built for Death Race! It’s a monster! Statham just drives through fire because he DOESN’T EVEN CARE ABOUT FIRE. Cars are exploding!
There’s only two drivers left. Tyrese and Statham. They start talking on their radios to coordinate an attack on the Kraken. Even though Joan Allen has cameras and microphones everywhere she doesn’t seem to be able to monitor their radios.
They killed the Kraken! EXPLOSIONS!
This is kind of like Hunger Games now. Trivia: Hunger Games is based on Death Race. Heat Two is over.
Tyrese figures out that Statham is the masked man and confronts him about it. Joan Allen says she’s going to kill Statham. Yeah right, Joan Allen! The prison guard puts a bomb on the bottom of Statham’s car.
Actual trivia: The Romans bottled and sold gladiator sweat as an aphrodisiac.
“Gentlemen, this should be interesting,” says Haymitch.
There’s only two cars left and I can’t even tell what’s happening. It’s like the camera itself is drunk. Statham is driving through fire again, straight off of the Death Race track! Haymitch took the bomb off of Statham’s car. The cops are in pursuit! Four cop cars just blow up.
“Bon voyage, friend,” says Haymitch on the radio that no authorities can hear.
Choppers are in pursuit. Statham just rolled out the car and now Case is driving it. She stops the car, puts on the masked man mask, and the cops get her. Somehow Tyrese shows up on foot and gives Statham a bag and they jump on a train. There are Hawaiian shirts in the bag.
Haymitch blows up Joan Allen and the prison guard! He looks at the camera and says, “I love this game.” I love this movie.
SIX MONTHS LATER
Tyrese and Statham own a mechanic shop in Mexico. Case drives up and hip hop music starts playing when she gets out of the car in slow motion. Statham holds his daughter. There’s some voice over about getting a start at something new.