Friday, August 22, 2008

Death Race: Killer Ride From Start to Finish

Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seat belts it's gonna be a bumpy ride! As cliched as that sounds, when describing Universal's new vehicular crash and burn flick, "Death Race", it's the truth! Director and producer, Paul W. S. Anderson, literally puts you in the driver's seat in this brutal, 100 miles an hour prison car race and doesn't let you take your foot off the petal until you cross the finish line of the credits.

Set in the not-so-far future on fictional Terminal Island, "Death Race" features, "Transporter's" Jason Stratham and "Annapolis" Tyrese Gibson as prison racers, Jensen Ames and Machine Gun Joe, respectively. And "The Bourne Supremacy's" Joan Allen portrays the manipulative warden and "Death Race" show producer from hell.

Of his character, Gibson explains it's a role that's darker than anything he's done before. "Machine Gun Joe is evil," he says. "He's an inmate, a leader, and killer. I'm a bully."

Stratham's role as Jensen Ames a.k.a the masked "Frankenstein" is a stark contrast to Gibson's. A former convict and steel worker, Ames is framed for the murder of his wife and has a child he desperately wants to back to. Says Stratham, "This is a tough guy who's been to prison before. He's found this woman who loves him. They have a child together, and she's his second chance at life."

"My character only sees 'Death Race' as an incredibly popular show that people really want to watch," says Allen about her role as Warden Hennessey. "Hennessey gets caught up in the media and numbers and forgets human lives are at stake."

The rules of her violent pay-per-view event are simple: win five races and get released from prison. To keep viewers glued to their screens, Hennessy ensures audience favorites--the masked Frankenstein and Machine Gun Joe--are the last men standing and driving. Both prisoners only have one more race to win in order to receive their freedom. But Hennessey has a few "surprise appearances" that may affect the race's outcome and blow her ratings through the roof.

Interestingly, making a strong appearance in this film are the cars themselves. These killing machines are ready for all out war on the track. Armed with napalm, oxygen tanks, machine guns, flamethrowers, ejector seats and other tricked-out artillery, these villainous cars are combination of machines from "Mad Max" and "Fast and Furious."

So to keep the action between these armed cars and their drivers as authentic as possible no green screens and Hollywood computer tricks were used. As "Death Race's" director, Anderson chose to visually get as close to the scenes as possible.

"We built a load of rigs," says Anderson, "that have never been seen before in movies. We were able to get so close to these real crashes, these real explosions--cars on fire, cars spinning 20 feet in the air--all done practically and all done safely."

And the end results of Anderson's work is a film so real, you'll still feel the jolts after the movie is over. "Death Race" is definitely a film for the big screen and designed to see IN THEATERS to experience every smashing detail. So speed to a theater this weekend and don't forget to buckle up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw it this weekend with my boyfriend. Too violent for me, but he liked it. Warden Hennessey was a real b*tch.