In this prequel to the Jason Statham remake, criminal Carl Lucas (Luke Goss) is captured after botched robbery in which he shot a cop. He's sent to Terminal Island, which is run by a private corporation. To make money they televise "Death Match", a show in which violent criminals kill each other in hand to hand combat. A former Ms. Universe (Lauren Cohan of THE WALKING DEAD) is the producer/host of the show. She wants Lucas to fight but he refuses. So that night she randomly picks two convicts to fight. One of them is his friend, an egghead who can't fight and will definitely be killed unless he intervenes. So, of course, he ends up participating in the battle. Then, the corporation decides to have violent races instead of fights. If a driver wins a certain amount of races he'll earn his freedom. Lucas wins three out of five races but his vehicle crashes and he burns. He survives but his horribly scarred--and returns as the masked "Frankenstein", a silent, mysterious driver who brings in the ratings.
I loved the first movie so I was reluctant to see this. Yet it does something all prequels should do-- build on the first movie and add background info that makes that movie even more interesting. I did not expect the Frankenstein character to be this guy. It's also interesting to see how "Death Race" was created and the personalities behind it. Highly recommended.