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A road race for the 21st Century

The movie: “Death Race”

When: Opening Friday at local theaters

The cast: Jason Statham •, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Tyrese Gibson

The director: Paul W.S. Anderson

The story: In the near future, reality TV has turned deadly, as murderous prisoners drive to survive a killer cross-country competition that will earn the winner freedom — and turn the other contestants into roadkill.

The buzz: The year 2000 is history, so this remake of the 1975 cult fave “Death Race 2000” — which pitted “Kung Fu’s” David Carradine against, among others, a pre-“Rocky” Sylvester Stallone — zooms even further into the future, with Statham in Carradine’s role, Gibson in Stallone’s, Allen as the resident ruthless prison warden and McShane as Statham’s coach, who trains him to drive a Mustang fastback equipped with flamethrowers and napalm. (Eat your heart out, “Speed Racer.”)

BY CAROL CLING

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