A remake of the 1975 cult classic that inspired Grand Theft Auto, Death Race 2000, is on the way next year. But this version has all the testosterone drained out. Gone are the point systems for running over pedestrians, gone is the entire revenge plot that had David Carradine after the President, and gone is the fact the "Death Race" was shown on national television. What does that leave you with?
Death Race 2000, the original, was about a genetically engineered superdriver named Frankenstein (David Carradine), who is forced to compete in a race across the country where you can earn points by running down pedestrians, babies and the elderly, who are worth up to 100 bonus points! He's hell-bent on ending both the race and the life of "Mr. President." Pretty gritty stuff.
In the remake Jason Statham plays Frakenstein, but this time he's a family man trying to get out of prison and back to his daughter on the outside. Plus the Death Race now occurs in prisons, and on closed-circuit television. Talk about missing the point entirely, and with our current fixation on reality TV this should have been a no-brainer. It's like remaking Star Wars and having the Rebels and the Imperials sit down at a negotiating table and work things out nicely.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who is also helming the supercar movie Spy Hunter, will be directing this, giving us even more cause for concern. Do yourself a favor next year and rent the original. At least it wasn't afraid to put the pedal to the metal and run you down.