Spend an evening with pornstars, wrestlers, and large giant fireballs.
Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy (2018): 8 out of 10: The fourth movie in a Death Race remake timeline which started with a rather poor Jason Statham vehicle in 2008. A secret agent goes to stop Frankenstein or something seems to be the plot.
The Good: You know if you are going to make the fourth sequel to a series that people stopped caring about twenty minutes into the first film there are a couple of things you can do. Making sure every frame has sex, violence or large orange fireballs in it is a surprisingly solid approach. This movie is not good but God help us it is entertaining. Everything is over the top from the violence, the music to the casting of porn stars and professional wrestlers.
Other sequels and remakes have successfully taken this tact from Piranha 3D to 2009’s My Bloody Valentine remake. While one can miss the mark (Piranha 3DD for example) it is a solid approach. After just sitting through the deadly boring Escape Plan 2: Hades I appreciate Death Race 4’s approach even more.
The Bad: You know the film could have been a little meaner. I mean it is a Death Race film. Have the “good guy” kill his girlfriend Keyser Söze’s style to show he can’t be intimidated. That kind of thing.
The movie also has the unseen narrator/announcer thing that I find irritating in movies. You know the kind of silliness that shows up in an Adam Sandler sports film in case someone in the audience can’t follow the action by simply looking at the screen.
The Ugly: Speaking of not being able to follow the action does anyone actually know what the plot was supposed to be? Is Frankenstein the good guy or the bad guy in this one? Is this still in a prison? Why are there congressional hearings? What the hell is going on?
In Conclusion: My complaint about the Statham remake was that is missed the point of the original. It had no cartoonish drivers, no casual nudity, it wasn’t funny, and no one ran over pedestrians. This film fixes the first three of the four. While it still isn’t a proper Death Race film (seriously even the topless starter girl isn’t run over) There are worse ways to spend an evening than with pornstars, wrestlers, and large giant fireballs.