The year is 2012, and the United States economy has collapsed. Popular entertainment has fallen back to the decadence of ancient Rome, except now the public tunes in to watch prison inmates battle to the death, or engage in a brutal automobile race in which heavily armed and armoured vehicles are driven by prisoners desperate to gain their freedom. As action movies go, this one is first-rate. The violence and andrenaline are almost non-stop, and having a good cast of actors there to pull it off, while avoiding many of the cliches so common to this genre of films, lifts Death Race above its normal kind. Onetime racing champion Jason Statham is framed for the murder of his wife, and forced to take over the role of Frankenstein, a champion Death Race driver. Veteran actor Ian McShane stars as Statham's crew chief, Coach, and Joan Allen is icy cold as the plotting prison warden, Hennessey. Natalie Martinez is hot, hot, hot as Frankenstein's co-pilot, Case.