Rollerball Poster

Rollerball (2002)

Action | Sport   
IMDB Rayting:   3.0/10
Country: USA | Germany
Language: English | Russian

The big thing in 2005 is a violent sport which can have some pretty serious consequences... like dying.

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Matt_Layden 8 November 2005

Johnathan Cross, a lover of extreme sports, is recruited to star in Rollerball. The players are on Rollerblades, trying to bring a heavy metal ball into a high goal. Also, there are motorcyclists around to bring momentum to the players. Oh yes, and there are no rules in the game. During his skyrocketing career, Johnathan has to experience what Alexi has found out: Blood brings more viewing pleasure to the audience. In a final game, Johnathan and his team have to fight for mere survival.

Back in 1975, James Caan brought us a brutal movie in which you can literally hear every bone in the players body break. Now, John McTieran has brought that film to us again, for a new generation. With stars like LL Cool J, Rebbeca Romijn and Chris Klein you would expect it to be a pretty bad remake, but this is not the case. Rollerball does the unthinkable and gives Psycho a running for it's money as the worst remake ever created by man.

Chris Klein in every film he has been in manages to make it look as if he has no range at all. His soft voice and good looks can only go so far, and in a movie where you need to beat the living hell out of another team member, you want someone that can at least yell and make a sound beyond a bird chirp. LL Cool J is only hear to bring the film a "cool" hip look, he's suppose to be the I don't give a damn, James Dean character, but it doesn't fly. Rebbeca Romijn, well, she has a nude scene, but when it's covered in the dark, you wonder why she is even in the movie to begin with.

Rollerball is suppose to be a bloody entertaining film, but McTeirnan at no point manages to show us anything entertaining. The entire game sequences seem uninspired and drawn out. When it goes for a shock, it misses and misses completely. I'm still wondering if LL Cool J's character is dead or alive, but apparently it's not important to the story. LL Cool J probably knew that this was going to be garbage and left the movie, leaving the film crew to make his character disappear. I don't blame him.

Not even the professional himself, Jean Reno save this film from the ultimate horrible experience that we all will endure from seeing this film. In a film about violence in sports, you would expect to see some, but when you have a PG-13 rating, you know that it was targeted to make money and nothing else.

I can't understand why someone would want to see this film, the final action sequence is yet another let-down in this horrible tripe. The only thing that this film has going for it, is it's 97 minute length, so if you do have the unfortunate experience of sitting through it, it will be over soon enough.

christian123 17 May 2005

Rollerball is a bad movie that pretty much fails on every level. It's the year 2005 and the new sport of Rollerball is very popular. Marcus Ridley {LL Cool J} recruits his friend Jonathan Cross {Chris Klein} into the very dangerous sport which may not be that luxury as it seems. One of the games promoters will do anything to get higher ratings even if that means death. I have seen the original and after watching this I wonder why they took a very good film and just ruined it. Rollerball is a poorly written movie that lacks suspense and good action. The film is just really ridiculous at times that its hard to take serious. The dialog is really lame and the characters aren't very developed . The acting is terrible with the worst probably being Chris Klein who doesn't have enough charisma to be a lead. LL Cool J was alright but he just doesn't seem to be trying. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Jean Reno both do a decent job but like LL Cool J, they just don't seem to really be trying. I can't blame them though as the writing is horrible and they are not given a lot of material to work with. The film is a lot more violent then the original, however, the action is still not very impressive. It also doesn't help matters that the studio got scared and went for the PG-13 rating and so the editing looks very bad. The film is about 95 minutes long but it drags on forever since its just a really boring film. The film is also confusing as some of the events that occur in the film don't really make a lot of sense. At some point during the film you will most likely stop caring. If you have seen the original then you will hate this movie. If you haven't seen it then you might like this but that's not very likely. Its just better to see the original. Rollerball is a loud and terrible film that's worth skipping and its also one of the worst films of 2002. Rating 2/10 avoid this film at all costs.

tomimt 5 January 2007

Original 'Rollerball' was a movie about dystopia future, where huge corporations ruled the world and there was no wars. But the blood lust of people had to be compensated, so there was this game called Rollerball, which was full of action, thrills and kills. But then one of the players was in the verge of becoming too big. He, Jonathe E. was a threat to the rule.

We can forget all about that with this remake of that 70's classic. There is no political metaphor, no philosophical questions about humanity, in fact there is no sense at all, if you don't count nonsense, about the movie. John McTiernan, director of such classics as 'The Predator' and 'Die Hard' has managed to make a movie, that is in one word, poor.

With some idiotic excuse the main protagonist Jonathan (at least the name is same), gets in the hazardous game of Rollerball with his pal Marcus (LL Cool J). Soon he notices, that there is something fishy about the game.

There isn't anything worthwhile to mention about the film. Tiernan directs like a man, who hasn't directed a single piece of film in his life. The plot is idiotic and the main baddies are pretty much camp material. The action is poorly choreographed and the editing tries so badly to be music video like, that it's flat out funny.

Can't really figure any reason for anyone to see this film.

Rating: 1 out of 10

Camp rating: 4 out of 10

lemon993 12 June 2004

After knocking off 26 positive reviews I felt the need to slaughter a cinematic turkey of mammoth proportions. And this it. This movie will depress anyone who loves movies. I would hate to encounter anyone who likes this piece of sewage. There is nothing of value on screen: from the horrid acting of LL Cool J to the gratuitous street luge scene. If the director had an ounce of humor he would have used The Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" here. But that would be asking too much. Instead, the film makers get together and trash a classic. When this happens someone must step in and play policeman and arrest the Hollywood perpetrators involved in this criminal mischief. You have the right to remain silent. Anything--Well, forget it. I believe the director lost his mind. The night vision scenes were visual poison. Puke green. Fuzzy. Shockingly enough, an entire reel or two of this utterly useless footage of a chase of some kind made it into the movie. I have this feeling the film was unintentionally overexposed. The Rollerball game cannot be followed by anybody sober. Loud. Noisy. What are the rules? There is not a scintilla of drama anywhere in this motion picture. Take this stinker out to the curb before it contaminates the rest of your dvd collection or damages your player. Wretched. Shame on all who were involved. And a pox on their homes, too.

pzanardo 7 March 2003

I suspected 2002 "Rollerball" was an ugly movie, but not that ugly! Well, let's get rid of the only merit of the movie: the presence of Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, beautiful and tremendously sexy. Indeed, a statuesque female warrior is always sexy, all the more with that alluring scar on her face.

The tragic fact with "Rollerball" is that the story should be good, per se. The authors took the ideas from the original (and true) 1975 "Rollerball". They deleted the political and moral messages, which were somewhat a weakness of the 1975 film, and placed the story in some remote countries of a near future, allegedly ruled by violence, greed, abuse. But the way the film is made turns it into a disaster.

There is an over-long (and boring) preamble, with a race down-hill of some cretinous youngsters, in San Francisco. This is a great narrative mistake. The audience is anxious to know about the Rollerball game, and you excruciate them with idiots, easily found, alas!, in everyday life. In the next scene Jonathan (a remarkably blunt Chris Klein) has become the undisputed superstar of the Rollerball. We don't understand anything of the rules of the game. As a matter of fact, we don't understand anything of the plot! The guys on the screen keep talking about other guys, seemingly killed by the bad ones, or something like that. Who are who? The audience utterly ignores it. The next scene (say: someone escaping from somewhere) has no logical connection with the previous one. I bet that in the final editing of the movie a good 30 minutes were cut, making the story a complete mess. The only thing we get is that the villains deliberately provoke accidents on the field to raise the TV audience of the game. And then there is the lousy greenish nocturnal scene. Up to my knowledge, the worst visual idea in the history of cinema. Some 15 minutes of sufferings for the innocent viewer. The ending is even more ludicrous than expected.

But what is really incredible, even in a terrible movie, is that, in spite of the enormous technological improvements, the scenes of the game, and related special effects, are by far less spectacular, exciting, violent than those of the 1975 "Rollerball". The possibly interesting presence of women playing Rollerball is not exploited at all. The uniforms of the teams are worse than horrible, they are stupid.

There's nothing to save in "Rollerball". Just take Romijn-Stamos and bring her to another movie (keeping the scar on her face, if possible).

danglar_moscovitz-1 28 February 2005

I was really speechless after watching "Rollerball". I expected a dull movie, not something so dreadful. "Rollerball" has all the elements to make one of those bizarre cult classics from the 70's and 80's. Except the fun element.

The movie starts with the worst police chase in years. Believe me, any Lorenzo Lamas movie, even one featuring appearances from Dolph Lundgren, can be capable of a car chase better than this: we see Chris Klein running from police in a mix of skateboard and racing-car, in San Francisco. Then, helped by his friend LL Cool J., he goes to an Asiatic country. There, the most popular game is the Rollerball, a mix of basketball and roller-skating that seems to be deadly and a great money-maker. Rollerball is controlled by Jean Reno's character, the average "mad-business-man" stereotype. Then, we learn that Chris Klein is having an affair with his Rollerball partner, Rebbeca Romjin-Stamos.

What comes next is not worth telling. Of course, Chris, LL and Rebbeca will make a rebellion against Jean Reno. But there isn't anything new in this idea. It's wasted by a script that, once tries to make a cheap social critic, then tries to shove action sequences in the screen at all coasts, and both are really bad.

The acting is at the last level. It's incredible to see Jean Reno, an actor that is mostly great (watch "Red Rivers") making such a mess with his role. It's so stereotyped and has so less to do (despite it's importance in the plot) that you can completely forget about it. LL Cool J. is a special case: he keep going well for a while, and then completely disappears, showing that, maybe, good acting wasn't allowed in Rollerball rules.

Oh, the main couple. Chris Klein and Rebbeca Romjin-Stamos. Well, Rebbeca is incredibly sexy in this role, and it's nice to see her in topless scenes, so we can forget she's so bad here. And Klein. Let's just say Chris Klein will NEVER work in an action movie anymore. At least we hope so.

In the end, the movie is a complete mess. Is not only a waste of money, but also waste of time, celluloid and Jean Reno. That is a complete sin. It feels like director John McTiernan wanted so badly to make a stylish movie that he forgot to make a good movie.

anborn3000 31 October 2004

The original film was a masterpiece. Not only for the (at the time) over-the-top action, but for the marvelously clear look into the future. Only science-fiction would dare suggest the future holds society completely employed by six corporations! What a brilliant prophecy!

In the self-centered and hedonistic 70's, isn't it amazing the true gist of the original film is the attempt to keep a famous player from becoming bigger than the game he plays? One need only peruse today's business section to see how our society now strives to eliminate the notion of the individual in favor of an identity-nullifying "team concept."

So one can say the original is all about the triumph of the individual.

The 2002 version is nothing more than a haphazard mess that shows what happens when a studio changes hands and a cinematic vision is compromised for a PG-13 rating that effectively destroys the film. Rollerball could do with a well-intentioned remake; this wasn't it.................by a long shot.

BA_Harrison 2 April 2007

A good friend of mine, and fellow rabid film fan, said he would give me a tenner (£10) if I honestly felt that Rollerball was worth a score higher than 1/10; as much as I need the cash, I just can't bring myself to lie. Rollerball is absolutely dire and truly deserves the lowest rating possible.

A muddled, unexciting piece of drivel from the word go, John McTiernan's lousy remake of Norman Jewison's 70s cult favourite is every inch as bad as you have probably heard. Perpetually-perplexed-looking Chris Klein is unwisely cast as Jonathan (portrayed by James Caan in the original), a thrill junkie who is convinced by good friend Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) to try his hand at Rollerball, a dangerous team sport played in Russia and its neighbouring countries.

The evil men controlling the sport, led by Alexis Petrovich (Jean Reno), are corrupt gangsters who will trade players lives in order to boost their ratings. But a brave American citizen like Jonathan isn't about to kowtow to the demands of nasty foreigners, and sets about upsetting the applecart.

To be honest, there are so many reasons to despise this movie, I really do not know where to start. I guess as good a place as any would be with director McTiernan, who seems to have lost all ability to make a decent film. This is the man who redefined the action movie in the 80s with Die Hard. He also proved he could do a decent remake with The Thomas Crown Affair. So what the hell happened here?

His Rollerball is unexciting, glossy toss that makes the mistake of pandering to the teen crowd. As a result, we get a pretty boy lead 'actor' (Klein makes Keanu Reeves look like Olivier), a rapper playing support, an ex-model (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) as the love interest, and even an inexplicable appearance by noise-merchants Slipknot. The script treats the viewer with contempt, making no attempt to explain the titular game, rendering the action scenes meaningless. If we have no idea of the rules of the sport, how the hell can we get excited about it?

Visually the film is even worse: the 'roller dome'—the arena in which Jonathan is king (despite constantly looking as if he is about to wet himself)—resembles a kids activity area rather than a tough battlefield; the players, dressed in shiny PVC, look like they're off to an S&M party; and for some reason an entire chase scene is shot viewed though some kind of night-vision goggles.

The acting ranges from poor (Reno, Romijn-Stamos) to very poor (Klein, rapidly becoming my most hated actor, and LL Cool J).

Gone is the bone-crunching realistic violence of the original film; in McTiernan's version of the sport, it seems that no-one is supposed to get hurt—if they do get injured, it's because of their unscrupulous bosses and their money-grabbing ways. Gone is the futuristic setting—this one is supposed to be in the here and now! And gone is any respect I had for JohnMcTiernan.

Seikan 12 February 2005

Never in my life have I seen something held together by cameo appearances... I mean, this has to be the most commercialized, corporate movie I have ever seen.

From the god awful Slipknot's appearance to the Ben Affleck of the next generation Chris Klein, the only uplifting experience was Jean Reno, because he is the coolest actor since Samuel L. Jackson.

And seriously, for a movie made just four years before its set-time, it went way overboard.

Oh and a fun fact: ECW and WWE's Paul Heyman is that annoying commentator you see from scene 1... and generally in each and every scene afterwards.

From wrestling (Heyman), fake metal (Slipknot) to horrible acting (Klein) and a poor storyline that can truly only be outdone by Gigli, I find myself wanting to rip out my left kidney if not for the fact I already did so watching Gigli.

Buddy-51 9 July 2002

`Rollerball' is a god-awful remake of the 1975 Norman Jewison film about a fictional sport in which murdering the players becomes a primary object of the game. The original film acquired what little credibility it had by setting the story sometime in the distant future. This version is set in the present, but it tries to maintain its believability by locating the league in Southwest Asia, under the parochial assumption, I suppose, that that part of the world is every bit as alien, exotic and dehumanized as any hypothetical future society. It doesn't work. It is simply impossible for us to believe even for a split second that the owners and promoters of this sport would think they could get away with such murderous shenanigans broadcast live to millions of viewers the world over. Might not the United Nations, among other international organizations, have a thing or two to say about all this? Also, will someone please explain to me just WHAT purpose is served by having the promoters of this sport killing off their own players? Doesn't that sort of deplete their own resources for future games? I can't imagine too many people willingly signing on to engage in this sort of gladiatorial tomfoolery.

Even if we agreed to swallow the whole thing merely for the sake of the entertainment value of the film, we would be forced to admit that `Rollerball' is a chintzy, clunky, uninteresting movie in all respects. The sport itself – sort of a cross between motor cross racing, roller derby, hockey and basketball – is completely unexciting, consisting of little more than blurred figures racing madly around a cramped, claustrophobic track. Without even the context of good action sequences, `Rollerball' is forced to fall back on its dialogue and characters, which proves to be disastrous for all concerned. Chris Klein, in the role of hotshot Jonathon Cross - played by James Caan in the original - comes across as a minor league version of Keanu Reeves. LL Cool J is wasted in the part of Jonathon's American sidekick, and poor Jean Reno gets to play one of the most laughable villains we've run across in a movie in a long long long long time.

In fact, this redux turns out to be good for nothing BUT a few hearty laughs. If you are in need of such, check out `Rollerball.' It's a real hoot.

Theo Robertson 6 January 2005

The original ROLLERBALL was by no means a classic SF movie but at least the audience knew they were watching a dark futuristic thriller . This completely lame remake misfires on every level . Since it's set a couple of years in the future there's no chance it can be called futuristic . It might be described as " Dark " but that's because no one seems to have paid the electricity bill during production . But the main failing in this version is the game of Rollerball itself . In the original the game would see matches where several team members would either die or be maimed for life but in this present day version it doesn't seem anymore dangerous than American football or Rugby or any other type of contact sport . hell even bimbos are allowed to take part . in other words this is a game for wimps in comparison and this ruins the movie far more than the oft quoted aspects like the poor acting , camp sound effects and the night vision sequence

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