Movie Review

Movie Review: Rollerball

Rating:  2 out of 5
Rated:  PG-13 for action-movie violence, occasional bad language, and Rebecca Stamos naked in silhouette.

Got to watch this one at a morning screening.  I’m glad I didn’t waste an afternoon or evening watching this dreck.

A disclaimer:  The James Caan edition of Rollerball is one of my favorite movies.  Nice homage:  in the new one, they keep the classic “Jon-a-than!  Jon-a-than!” chant that makes the Caan version awesome.

It’s sort of like the Planet of the Apes remake:  it’s not awful, and it’s intended to stand on its own.  But the originals in both cases were so much more inspired.

The first one:  The game was easy to follow and understand.  Skaters go around the rink, pick up the ball, and slam it into the scoring pod.  Can be shown with one camera.

The new one:  The game is on a figure-8 track (left over from RollerGames?  Where’s the alligator pit?) with a bunch of hampster habittrails and ramps and stuff.  You never get a good sense of how the game is played or who any of the team players are (or which team they’re on).

The plotlines are similar:  the game is run by The Corporation and Jonathan tries to figure out his role in the game.  Not a bad updating of the plot; the execution should have been done MUCH better.

There are a ton of bad directing choices in the film, but a lot of action scenes were cut; expect to see them uncut on the DVD.