Jason Statham, for me, is the only legitimate action star working today. Movie after movie has been entertaining and Statham’s charisma is always on full display. Even his films that don’t meet expectations still guarantee a good performance by Statham. In 2008 Statham starred in a remake of the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2000, simply titled Death Race. While it may not have been one of his best films, it was a fun throwback film with some great action and a memorable performance by Statham. It was a big enough hit that it spawned a sequel in 2010 starring Luke Goss as the villain from the first film, Frankenstein. Goss proved to not be nearly as likable as Statham, but here we are again with Death Race 3: Inferno.
Carl Lucas (Goss) aka Frankenstein has managed to get one race away from winning his freedom in the popular Death Race spectacle. But when the rights to Death Race are bought out by new owner Niles York (Dougray Scott), the rules have changed as well as the location. The race is moved to South Africa’s infernal Kalahari Desert and Lucas may be denied his freedom if York has a say in it. Lucas must not only win the race but find a way to gain his freedom once and for all from the ruthless York.
Death Race 3: Inferno picks up right where Death Race 2 left off and the movie pretty much follows the same predictable course that its predecessors did but with less panache. The races are fairly bland, even moreso with a desert setting. Everyone is serviceable in the acting department for a straight to video flick, but I really don’t get what people see in Goss. I find him extraordinarily dull and didn’t really care what happened to his character at all. There just isn’t anything new to be found here. If, on the other hand, you are in it for the Mad Max styled cars and want to check it out for that, the majority of the film is just races, so there is that.
The Blu-ray from Universal is pretty good looking all things considered. The bright desert lends to some nice detail and clarity during the race scenes. Colors are nice and saturated, but the indoor scenes in the bunker do come across a little dull in comparison.
So like an accident on the highway, you might want to slow down and feed your curiosity with Death Race 3: Inferno, but there really won’t be much to see.
Available January 22, 2013 on Blu-ray and DVD.