Fast and Fierce: Death Race Image

Throughout the narrative, women are referred to as “bitc*es” and violently beaten, when the camera does not ogle them. Neither The Fast and The Furious nor Death Race would win any awards for their progressive portrayal of women, but Cohn takes it to an extreme here. The women that do serve crucial roles are either screechy, poorly-accented stereotypes, or ones in desperate need of saving by the macho racer men.

For a film about racing, Fast and Fierce: Death Race features lifeless, incoherently edited, headache-inducing races, substituting noise and quick cuts for clarity. Obvious plot points and statements are reiterated over and over again – either the screenwriter had a memory lapse or severely underestimated the intelligence of his target audience. There are prolonged stretches of nothing happening, characters exchanging lame lines of dialogue, rendered even sillier by the cheap techno score in the background: “You know, they say you’re only as good as your last race;” “Those tacos aren’t coming, sweetie;” “Thanks for the directions, bit*hes.”

“…lifeless, incoherently edited, headache-inducing…”

What saves the film is the incredible performances from its spectacular cast. Just kidding. (But, Asylum, feel free to use that snippet on a DVD cover). DMX either murmurs his lines incomprehensibly or barks them out like he’s in a rap video (“You stupid fu**ing bi*ch!” “You mother was a stupid b**ch for fu**ing a piece of sh*t.”) Nguyen, bless her heart, has no sense of timing, delivering her lines as if she was just shocked with an electric rod. DeVorzon fares best, although he seems bored out of his wits.

Fast and Fierce: Death Race is as straightforward as Z-flicks get. There’s no semblance of subtext or depth. The film lurches from one unimaginative scene to the next, eager to get it over with. It could, perhaps, make decent midnight fodder for potheads. But with so much quality streaming content out there, I’m afraid this one’s going to be left in the dust. “X gon’ give it to ya”, indeed.

Fast and Fierce: Death Race (2020)

Directed: Jared Cohn

Written: Marc Gottlieb

Starring: DMX, Michael DeVorzon, Paulina Nguyen, Veronika Issa, Jack Pearson, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

Fast and Fierce: Death Race Image

"…DMX either murmurs his lines incomprehensibly or barks them out like he’s in a rap video"

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