I just finished Death Race 2050. It’s crude, shrill, spastic, sadistic, has really terrible special effects (like Syfy terrible)…
…and a whole hell of lot of fun!
Let’s back up and talk about Death Race 2000.
There’s nothing wrong with Death Race 2000. It is fun and witty. However while it has biting satire, it doesn’t have a good message to back it up. “Fascism Bad, Freedom Good” is not that hard of a message. This movie doesn’t challenge me.
However Death Race 2050 not only has the biting satire, but it is also smarter than it actually looks. Sure it looks stupid on the surface, but it is really not. It takes aim the right, but it then it is completely non-PC too. Let’s take the main characters and break them down:
The Chairman of The United Corporations of America is the parody character of Donald Trump, but he is a globalist and is okay with putting people out of work.
Alexis Hamilton, the rebel leader, is actually working with the Chairman. The “resistance” (by being over-the-top violent and focusing on the wrong things) is actually helping Trump- …err, I mean the Chairman.
Jed Perfectus is supposed to be genetically-engineered athlete, parodying male masculinity. However this falls flat when standing next to Frankenstein’s real masculinity (more on him later). Even Perfectus thinks of himself as a sissy next to Frankenstein.
Minerva Jefferson is a Black Supremacist rapper, who turns out to be an educated intellectual who doesn’t believe what she preaches and is in it for the money. Proving that Racial Supremacy is intellectually hollow.
Tammy “The Terrorist” is a religious cult leader. However it turns out her religion is worshiping celebrity idols (much like we do today). At no point is there any criticism of Christianity.
An artificial intelligence self-driving car, ABE, goes bonkers and kills his own programmer.
Then there’s Frankenstein. If Roger Corman was making this movie to make fun of the right, Frankenstein is the beginning and end of the failure to convey this criticism. Where Perfectus projects masculinity, Frankenstein is male masculinity and he proves it by getting his job (the race) done. Frankenstein is so secure in his masculinity that he has a pet cat. Frankenstein does not like leaders or followers, only doers.
The world setting also lacks clear criticism of the right: Consumerism rules this world, but the right wants to get back to a manufacturing and build stuff again. Both the east and west coasts are wastelands. They paint fly-over country as dangerous because they have guns, but then they get to fight back (so win for fly-over country and gun rights!). Abortion and sterilization has not done anything for overpopulation. A public school sets aside several wheelchair-bound children for Frankenstein to kill, which he promptly kills the school administrators instead for their trouble. There is also not a single gay, bi, or transgender person in this movie (all are straight and comfortable in their gender).
If you are a liberal or progressive or social justice warrior, you are not going to like this movie. Sure it has nudity and fart jokes, but this movie is intellectually right-of-center.
If you are anywhere on the right, this will be a guilty pleasure for years to come. It may be campy as hell and you don’t want to let your kids watch, but I would recommend a watch or two.
PS: Also, this is not a sequel. This is a straight-up reboot/remake. There’s nothing tying this movie with Death Race 2000. The good news it that reboot/remake can work, if done right.