In an attempt to arrange favorable results in the race, Hennessey hatches a plot to replace Frankenstein with Jensen Ames (Jason Statham), a former racing champion.

There’s something to be said for a movie that knows exactly what it is and then whacks that knowledge home like a rusty pipe in the face. Case in point: “Death Race,” a delectable bit of B-movie savagery that actually does feature pipe melees, among much other kicky (and punchy and impaled-by-a-metal-spikey) ultraviolence.

Preview: La Carrera de la muerte :: CINeol

The premise, updated from the 1975 cult classic “Death Race 2000,” is simple, sick and satisfying. In the year 2012, in response to the collapsing American economy, shady corporations have taken over the prison system and reap huge profits by staging gladiatorial pay-per-view contests among the prisoners.

Death Race - Filme - Kaufen/Ausleihen - Rakuten TV

Out on Terminal Island, where the worst of the worst participate in the wildly popular Death Race showdown, an ice-queen warden named Hennessey (Joan Allen, slumming with style) faces a crisis. Her star driver, a mask-wearing psychopath named Frankenstein, has just met his maker at the tip of a missile. In a bid to maximize ratings, Hennessey hatches a plot to replace Frankenstein with Jensen Ames (Jason Statham), a former racing champ.

Death Race | Full Movie | Movies Anywhere

Framed for the murder of his wife and shuffled off to Terminal Island, fury mounting and muscles rippling, Jensen is pressed into fending off a grimy assortment of gearhead sociopaths with the promise that if he wins the race he’s free to go. Needless to say, things are about to blow up, quite literally, in everyone’s face.

And how they blow! Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, a low-rent genre artisan who seems to have figured out a thing or two since staging “Alien vs. Predator” (or at least found a better crew to back him up), “Death Race” is a supercharged junkyard apocalypse powered by an unabashed relish for brutal comeuppance and a flair for delirious vehicular mayhem.

Death Race - Wallpaper with Jason Statham

Extended over three increasingly frantic, vividly murderous rounds, the Death Race itself is a tour de force of no-nonsense neo-grindhouse. Anchored by the ever-dependable Mr. Statham and his gruff, buff stoicism, the movie is legitimately greasy, authentically nasty, with a good old-fashioned sense of laying waste to everything in sight. including the shallow philosophizing and computer-generated fakery that have overrun the summer blockbuste.

No fancy talk here, just solid, monosyllabic obscenities; no flights of digital fancy, just souped-up monster cars flipping end over end in a napalm blaze and crashing in a crunch of flaming metal ouch.

“Death Race” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Mauling, maiming, bruising, beating, impalement, immolation, detonation, decapitation and a flagrant disregard of automotive etiquette.

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