Death Race 2 Blu-Ray Review

“I must tell the truth. At about the 15 minute mark I became bored. This is very VERY rare for me.”

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
Words like boring, uninteresting, boring, and ignorable come to mind when I look at this cover. That pretty much tells you I don’t love it. I wouldn’t have it as a poster, not even a post card. The menu is just functional navigation with images from the movie. It’s an uninspired package.

Features: 5/10

  • Deleted Scenes – These scenes wouldn’t add to the movie because it’s not really deleted scenes. It is a montage of shots cut out with some music over the top.
  • The Race Begins: The Evolution Of Death Race 2 – This is a talking faces interviewed about making the movie, the history of the world of Death Race since the original Death Race 2000.
  • Cheating Death: The Stunts Of Death Race 2 – More talking face interviews, but pretty good at showing the many many stunts performed by some crazy-ass folks.
  • Fast Cars & Firearms: The Cars Of Death Race 2 – Similar to the others this is the obligatory coverage of the automobiles and guns in this manly action flick.
  • Feature Commentary With Director Roel Reine – Reine loves to talk and he has a cool accent, so watch again and listen, it might be worth another watch.
  • Digital Copy & DVD – It is what it is.

The Movie: 5/10
I must tell the truth. At about the 15 minute mark I became bored. This is very VERY rare for me. I do not get a solid BOREDOM in life other than waiting to get my car fixed or at the doctor’s office. I had to force myself to keep paying attention to this movie and I’ve been trying to figure out why ever since. The first thing that dropped me out of the realm of interest was a car chase in the first few minutes that snapped me out of “I’m so happy to be watching a movie on our nice big screen in our nice puffy chairs” mode. I friggin’ love movies people!! It takes a pretty special flick to cause my mind to wander to things like what I will be making for dinner later, and when we took a pee break I didn’t rush back. In fact, I took the time to make a cup of tea and have a snack.

As bored as you are reading about how bored I was, is how bored I was. There were a few things that caught my attention. There is some adrenalin pumping music stuck in here and there, but the quality of what I was watching just didn’t fit the mood. The acting for most of the cast is surprisingly poor. I don’t know what the expectations of this kind of movie would be, but other than the leading man and woman everyone doesn’t seem to doing much more than playing pretend.

I always try to find something positive about each movie I watch. Sometimes it’s harder than other times. Death Race 2 has two things that salvage it for me, first it looks really good with good special effects (watch for a crazy fire scene), and last but not least the story really does get good in about the last fifteen to twenty minutes. It was like I was snapped to attention when a certain turn of events took place and I was finally hooked. If I focus on those ‘good’ things it doesn’t leave me with only the memory of being bored out of my mind, but that hopeful excitement near the end wanting more, or another movie to follow through with the story…hmmmm.

Whatever the requirements for digging a movie like this, I don’t have. Maybe on a different day in a different mood it would have been better.  If you enjoy a couple of beers and a pizza on a Friday night with some buddies who like to hoop and holler, this is the one for you.

Audio & Video: 7/10
Death Race 2 looks great for a straight to video release. In fact I think it actually looks better than it’s more expensive Statham powered version. That said, the Blu-Ray release is not without it’s problems with quite a bit of low light banding happening in some of the grimy dark prison scenes. When the movie moves from dark spaces though it looks super impressive. The Shelby Super Snake at the start literally leaps off the screen (no need for fancy 3D here).

The DTS-HD Master Audio track is LOUD if I had to use one word to describe it, you need to lower your levels a little if you want your speakers to survive the onslaught. And once the movie is underway an onslaught it is, the racing scenes sound fantastic. I’m not sure about the generic Linkin Park style music though. At times the rear speakers seem like they are doing more work than the front ones which is a bit odd but if you want to hear some engines rumble the Death Race 2 audio track will not dissapoint.

Value: 3/10
If you crave stereotypical testosterone dripping from your screen, Death Race 2 will satisfy. There is a lot of nothing here to make it worth a purchase. I would recommend a rental, along with Death Race, and Death Race 2000 to make a night of it.

Overall Score 5/10