Writer: Tony Giglio, Don Michael Paul (Screenplay) Paul W.S. Anderson, Tony Giglio (Story)
Starring: Zach McGowan, Danny Glover, Danny Trejo, Velislav Pavlov, Lucy Aarden, Frederick Koehler
Plot: After an attack on inmate Frankenstein fails a Black Ops specialist enters the maximum prison to join the illegal Death Race and take down Frankenstein.
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: The Action We Expect, The Thin Story We Expect
Story: Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy starts as America has completely broken down, the one former hope Death Race is deemed illegal and has taken the dark web by storm as the prisoners have free roam of the arena formerly used as the prison. Frankenstein (Pavlov, voiced by Nolan North) runs this world, he isn’t like the Frank we have met before, he runs the city and the race.
The government are getting sick of the Death Race and want to bring it down, Baltimore Bob (Glover) runs the races and when new prisoner Connor Gibson (McGowan) is searching to be part of the race, in an attempt to bring down Frankenstein.
Thoughts on Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy
Characters – Frankenstein rules the death race circuit from behind his mask, this is made clear that he can be replaced with ease and isn’t the same man that we have met in the previous film, this version of Frankenstein isn’t as good-natured or innocent as the previous ones, he is a killer, he will execute people who try to cross him and has created the chaos in the world they are living in. Connor Gibson is the man sent to the prison, he is sent there to take down Frankenstein in an attempt to regain control of the prison, he uses his skills to rise up the ranks to put himself in the position to race Frankenstein. Carley is the seductive and navigator that is on Frankenstein’s arm. Baltimore Bob runs the Death Race operation, he has the connections outside to the outside world and is willing to use them to create the most buzz about the event.
Performances – Zach McGowan gets the action sequences done well through the film, though when it comes to some of the talking moments he does struggle in places, though the script isn’t exactly anything notable. Danny Glover is getting too old for this shit now, he gives us the supporting role you would have come to expect from him now. Velislav Pavlov brings the physical look for Frankenstein, though Nolan North voice work makes the character feel more sinister.
Story – The story here follows the now illegal death race which has become a dark web sensation in a crumbling American economy, one man gets sent into the prison to eliminate Frankenstein. Now this might be the first actual sequel in the franchise, I kind of got lost after 2 and 3, but if this is a sequel it does show us just how the world changed after what happened with Frankenstein’s escape, how the world continued to fall into disorder. When it comes to the Frankenstein figure, we know he can be replaced, which does explain the evil nature behind this version, though it goes against the need we have to support the underdog wrongfully placed in the prison system. The story is filled with unworthy showdowns with characters we barely know, we do also just resort to too many party scenes which are unrealistic and just want to show off nudity for no reason. The script is also poorly written just turning to explicit swearing insults which are here to sound edgy rather than making sense.
Action – The action in the racing sequences is the highlight of the film, the final race being the best part of the movie, even if we have plenty of jump cuts.
Settings – The film is set in the prison locations, the land might be larger now which does make sense for an ever growing environment that has become overrun.
Special Effects – The effects in the film come from the explosion we see caused during the race itself.
Final Thoughts – This is just another sequel that just doesn’t reach the levels of the previous films, it does have a fun race, though it does fall into the generic filler leading up to the race though.
Overall: Fun & Simple