Fast and Fierce: Death Race (2020)

 


The Asylum has unleashed their own take on a specific racing franchise that is quite well done thanks to the performances of its cast.

Jack Tyson is an ex-street racer who has given up the wild life, and is working as a mechanic in Mexico. He learns his rash younger brother Nelson owes a major debt to crime boss Davie. The only way Nelson can pay off his debt is if Jack is willing to compete in a race to Los Angeles for a five-million-dollar purse. Reluctant, Jack agrees to race but only if Nelson’s debt is paid no matter the outcome. However, things are about to go from bad to worse for Jack.

As the race begins, Jack finds himself against two other drivers, the very street-wise Mick and rash female driver Nina. While the three have a sense of mutual respect for each other, they know what’s at stake. When Bianca, enters Jack’s car, Jack knows he is now in a major world of trouble. Bianca is Davie’s ex-girlfriend, who has a pair of flash drives that will prove all of his crimes and put him in jail. Jack is reluctant to help her at first, but soon finds himself with no other choice. Will Jack be able to help Bianca stop Davie? Or will the new twists and turns in this race end up leaving Jack and Bianca dead?

The small indie outlet known as The Asylum may be known for their Sharknado franchise, but they are also known for making microbudget ripoffs of major Hollywood A-list films and for the most part, still offer such great quality B-movie entertainment. Their latest here is a ripoff of the Fast and Furious franchise with a taste of Death Race, hence the subtitle. However, this is actually not a bad run-of-the-mill street race film that doesn’t rely on cheesy CGI effects for its action and gives it a more grounded feel much like the first F&F trilogy.

Michael DeVorzon is great as Jack, who just wants to live a quiet life again until he is forced to relive the past as an ex-street racer. One can tell there is something tragic about the character as when his brother tells him of the situation and the solution, Jack is uncomfortable for the solution. However, what’s even more interesting is that this becomes far from a standard race and more of a race against time, and thugs, when Bianca, played by Paulina Laurant, appears.

Rap legend DMX plays the villain of the film Davie. Well, actually there are two main villains as Davie, while forcing Jack to race for Nelson’s debt, eventually finds himself held captive by two Sinaloa cartel members disguised as police. Then, it switches to Davie’s right-hand cronie Gillian, played by Veronika Issa, as the heavy. Issa goes a bit over the top at times, but it is more sporadic and after all, we are talking this being an Asylum film. Eventually, with the help of two female gun-toting mercenaries, Davie is rescued and reverts back to now both he and Gillian being the film’s villains.

Fast and Fierce: Death Race may seem like a rip-off of two major racing franchises, but it actually holds it own and thanks to its cast, it’s not actually bad for an Asylum film.

WFG RATING: B-

A film by The Asylum. Director: Jared Cohn. Producer: David Michael Latt. Writer: Marc Gottlieb; story by Mark Adkins. Cinematography: Jared Cohn.

Cast: Michael DeVorzon, DMX, Paulina Laurant, Becca Buckalew, Nate Walker, Jack Pearson, Veronika Issa, Gigi Gustin, Kassandra Escandell, Nora Harriet Aossey.

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