Search icon

Movies & TV

20th Jun 2024

A very fun dystopian action thriller movie is on TV tonight

Stephen Porzio

It’s the type of film best enjoyed with beer and pizza.

Our TV movie pick for tonight (Thursday, 20 June) is the Death Race, the 2008 dystopian action thriller movie starring Jason Statham.

A reboot of the cult ’70s film Death Race 2000, it takes place in a near-future US where the economy has collapsed and the subsequent increase in crime rates has led to the rise of privatised prisons.

One of these prisons is Terminal Island Penitentiary, whose warden Claire Hennessey (Oscar-nominee Joan Allen, The Contender) earns profits from broadcasting Death Race, a vehicular combat racing series, on the internet.

Throughout the season, the prison’s inmates battle each other in specially modified, weaponised and armoured cars on a track cut into the jail’s grounds, with the goal of winning their freedom.

Statham plays Jensen Ames, a man framed for a murder he did not commit who finds himself in lock-up at Terminal Island.

While there, the warden offers him a choice: compete in the Death Race under the pre-existing alias ‘Frankenstein’ or rot in a cell forever.

“Riding in a car equipped with flamethrowers and grenade launchers, Ames must survive a gauntlet of vicious criminals to win his freedom – or die trying,” the plot synopsis reads.

Co-starring Jason Clarke (Oppenheimer), Ian McShane (John Wick), Natalie Martinez (End of Watch) and Tyrese Gibson (the Fast & Furious franchise), Death Race was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Event Horizon, Resident Evil).

And we here at JOE would argue that the movie’s great cast, thrilling racing sequences and energetic filmmaking make it a highly entertaining B-movie – the type best enjoyed with beers and pizza.

Spawning three direct-to-video sequels, the 2008 version of Death Race is airing on TV tonight on ITV4 at 10pm.

Here are the other movies on TV tonight:

Halloween – Sky Sci-Fi – 9pm

The John Carpenter-directed horror classic that introduced slasher villain Michael Myers to the world as he sets his sights on teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

Highlander – Legend – 9pm

“There can be only one.”

Venom – Film4 – 9pm

A very fun Tom Hardy performance just about makes this so-so superhero flick worth watching.

Ransom – Legend Xtra – 9pm

Not the Mel Gibson movie but a Sean Connery-led ’70s crime thriller.

Austin Powers in Goldmember – Comedy Central – 10pm

The third one with Beyoncé.

Barbarosa – Virgin Media Three – 10.10pm

An ’80s Western starring Gary Busey and Willie Nelson.

Mrs Dalloway – BBC Four – 10.30pm

The 1997 movie version of Virginia Woolf’s adored novel.

Tales from the Lodge – Legend Xtra – 10.55pm

A 2019 British horror comedy anthology.

Angel Has Fallen – Film4 – 11.10pm

The third and last to date entry in the Gerard Butler Has Fallen action series.

Read more:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge