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|“||Okay, c*cksucker, f*ck with me, and we'll see who sh*ts on the sidewalk.||„|
Warden Hennessey, also called "Hennessey", is the main antagonist of Death Race.
She was portrayed by Joan Allen, who also portrayed Pamela Landy in the Bourne film series.
Upon the beginning of the film, she has hired Pachenko to kill Suzy Ames and frame her husband Jensen for her murder. After Ames is transferred to Terminal Island where Hennessey runs the penitentiary and imprisoned there, she makes him a deal; Since Frankenstein has won four races before his death, If Jansen wins the 5th Death Race while assuming the role of Frankenstein, he is free (the rule of Death Race is that if a contestant wins five races, they are free). The only people who know this secret are Franknestein's pit crews, his female navigator, Ulrich and Hennessey herself. She announced that the race gets started in first stage, which commences and Jansen ends up being the last. Jansen, after doing some investigation on his own discovers that last Frankenstein died due to having his vehicle sabotaged by none other than Frankenstein's navigator (who was held hostage by Hennessey with the pardon paper) at the order of Hennessey, and he/Frankenstein is never meant to win the race - in fact, no one has ever won five races legitimately. In addition, Jensen manages to find that Ever since Frankenstein's 'absence', Death Race's ratings have halved. So Hennessey ordered Pachenko to frame Jensen in order for her to have a replacement for Frankenstein. While all these events were unfolding, Hennessey has had an entire cell block of the prison off limit as something big was being built on her orders. In all, Hennessey has no intention of letting Jansen/Frankenstein leave the prison.
During 2nd stage, after the death of her minion Pachenko by Jansen (wearing the mask of his predecessor to get revenge for his wife) what Hennessey had been working on is revealed: Dreadnought, a newly-built heavily armed and armored 18-wheel tanker, to thin out racers and boost ratings. After eliminating all remaining contestants but Jansen and Machine Gun Joe who is Frankenstein's rival, Dreadnought was destroyed after Jansen and Joe work together to trigger a trap which Dreadnought falls into, much to Hennessey's outrage. Aware that Jansen now knows her crime towards him, Hennessey asks Jensen to consider staying and racing as Frankenstein, in exchange for a life of comfort compared to attempting to put his old life back together, but he adamantly refuses. She then orders Ulrich to plant a bomb under his car in case he wins, knowing that she can always find another replacement to impersonate Frankenstein.
During the last stage of Death Race, Hennessey purposely keeps Jensen from activating his weapons and allows Joe to activate his, Leaving Jansen defenseless. It was then Joe destroyed a particular section of a hall, weakened by the destruction during the first phase of the Death Race. Here it was revealed that the two former rivals had planned their escapes prior to the race, and together they head for the bridge to the mainland in a bid for their freedom. Hennessey was at first baffled but soon shocked that Ames and Machine Gun Joe are escaping the island, all the while being witnessed live by 70 million viewers. After hastily shutting down the program, she tries to kill Ames with bomb remote control device that she had planted on Ames' car, but was already neutralized by the pit crew of Frankenstein prior to the race without Hennessey's knowing. Frantically, Hennessey dispatches attack helicopters and police cruisers to stop Joe and Jansen, leading to further losses of policemen when Jansen manually activates the car's defensive mechanism on his pursuers. After making it to the mainland Joe and Jansen split up. Still, Hennessey's helicopters continue to chase Jansen. Jansen's navigator (Jansen forgave and kept her as his navigator in spite of her treachery) reveals that she had already received her pardon. She trades places with Jansen by wearing Frankenstein's costume, and had Jensen jumping out of the car before the helicopters corner her. 'Frankenstein' is captured while Joe and Jensen escape on a freight train.
Hennessey, although furious, was content that she managed to recapture 'Frankenstein' and Death Race's enormous success via ratings. Feeling empowered that she once again proved to everyone that no matter what happens, she always wins - only to be killed along with Ulrich in the explosion soon after sent to her by Coach with the same bomb that was meant for Jansen in the guise of gift along with the postcard that said Warmest Regard, You Monster.
Hennessey is very tyrannical, intelligent, manipulative, and treacherous. She wants to make her plans succeed; so that she always prevents men from having their families (wives, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, and anybody else). Upon the final stage, she would be led to a downfall for good.