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Death. Race. Death. Me no like.

But if you like primitive, degrading mayhem, this will fulfill your needs.

By Lawrence Toppman
Movie Critic

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  • Trailer | Catch a sneek peak!
  • Death Race

    Blood and smash and fire and crash and cars zoom and zoom and woman hot hot hot. Lots of killing!

    Stars: Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen, Ian McShane.

    Director: Paul W.S. Anderson.

    Running time: 100 minutes.

    Rating: R (strong violence and language).



EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Toppman's cerebral cortex shut down during the opening moments of “Death Race,” when it realized brain damage could result from watching the entire film with full attention. At that point, the R-complex (sometimes known as the “reptilian brain”) kicked in to receive all impressions. This review comes from that part of Toppman's brain.

At last! Stupid critic shut up! I take over to write truth. He just little baby, cannot watch blood splash on screen and laugh and laugh! Not fit to write about movie like this!

OK, so no plot, really. That good thing! But I try remember. Steel worker go home after plant close, happy with wife and baby. Man in black mask spray gas in face, kill wife, police come, put him in jail for life by mistake. Jason Statham play him. He beat up inmates who spit in food, and become toughest man in jail.

Movie set in future 2012. Prisons all private now, people watch inmates kill each other for fun. (I think this rip off “Running Man,” yes?) Evil warden hold auto race where racers kill each other, then she kill racers with big machine that shoot fire and rocket. She say 70 million people watch. She played by Joan Allen. Someone say she famous actress, but how can it be? Has stiff face like silly Botox woman. Looks bored through whole movie. No good!

So steelworker (name Ames) put on cloth mask to replace dead driver but no one else can know. She tell him, “Win next race, you free for life.” But that big lie! She want to kill him if he not killed by Machine Gun Joe, second-best racer. Machine Gun Joe played by Tyrese Gibson, too young for Botox but still no moving of face! He bad actor, too, I think.

OK, so nine men race but most die. Spikes go through faces. Other man burned alive in driver's seat. Audience in theater laugh and cheer – they all just like me! They laugh when man thrown from car smash face against metal pole, make noise like pumpkin I drop on concrete last fall. Big mess everywhere! Blood!

Now I try to be real critic, because this serious job. I think … movie make stupid mistakes in con-tin-uity. (I learn word from other critics who sit near.) I like loud music that sound like coffee grinder with no beans in it. I like dirty brown cine … cinema … wait, I look up word. Cinematography! Because people in movie be human dirt, so movie must look like dirt! This art, you see?

Mostly men in movie. But drivers get women who sit in next seat and spray oil on track and give clues about when guns on and off. Women all inmates from lady jail. In future, police arrest only women who not yet 30 and have big breasts. Ames fall in love with his helper. He put on happy smile first time. I think Jason Statham face almost crack from this.

Could not catch name of man who write and direct. Has almost same name as man who try to get Oscar this year, I know. But someone tell me “Death Race” man come from England and make only movies before this based on vidgames. They all have knives and bullets and smashing and blood and things that blow up and fire and women with big breasts. I want to see all now! All! As long as Joan Allen not be in any.

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