The recent set of ‘good’ movies (I cried through every one of them) led to standing in front of the cinema posters at the PVR longing for something that would give the lachrymals a bit of rest.
Priyanka Chopra stared back from two of them.
Varanam Aayiram. A quick phone check reveals ‘it is sensitive movie – first half is good – and it is vAAranam Aayiram’.
Oh. And Noooooooooo.
And then there was dark poster in corner. Death Race. No clue what it is about but poster has grim looking muscle boy, cars, guns and bimbo type babe.
Opening sequence. Words flash across screen. ‘2012: America. The Economy is shattered and with record unemployment, levels of crime have risen. All prisons are now run by private companies for profit. And screen explodes with two tank like cars racing, ears pierced by the whine of engines. Man in a mask is behind the wheel and the bimbette is next to him saying ‘the napalms not coming on’. And the man says ‘drop the tombstone on my mark’. Voila – a one steel slab that is the back of the car is dropped and hits the other driver. He falls back, but comes after him soon enough with all guns blazing. Steel slab gone, the petrol tank is now exposed. The babe bails (flies up into the air in a parachute in a spectacular shot), car bursts into flames as it heads over the finish line.
Cut to scene where our hero (Jason Statham) has just lost his job. He escapes the riot that breaks out with $400 of severance pay in cash and makes his way home to loving wife who keeps his tattoed bod out of trouble and their new baby. He leaves off being mushy with her to check on the baby and comes back to find her killed and gets brained himself.
Wakes up in prison where the warden (Joan Allen) makes him an offer he can’t refuse. He wears Frankenstein’s mask and does one death race. If he makes it alive off the track, he walks free. Else his baby (who survived) gets to see the worst of the foster care system. Our man of course has to enter race now.
Race is in three parts. Fri / Sat and Sun – apparently the new replacement to football for amreeka.
Day 1, he realises his wife’s murderer is in prison and loses race.
Day 2 He sets out to kill said murderer. Ms. Allen in the meanwhile has decided to add surprise element and brings out a supertanker that kills all but two of the racers in any of the following ways – drilled, smashed or chopped. Our man and Tyrese make it to the finish line.
Day 3 sees our hero Jason (great shot at this point of his tattoed bod doing pull ups in cell) and Tyrese Gibson race each other. Surprise element is they do a deal and stage an escape since they know the warden isn’t gonna keep her word on letting the winner out.
End of movie cut to shot of jason (still looking delicious) holding baby while tyrese fixes car and complains about being forced onto the straight and narrow. Jason’s navigator (Natalie Martinez) walks in to join them in what will now presumably be a blissful life.
Final Verdict. No plot, no characterisation. Nothing to detract from the pulpiness. Full Joy if in mindless mode!