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Rollerball
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: MGM
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home.
Date Movie: Leave her at home.
Gratuitous Sex: Rebecca gets naked and we almost get to see her boobs.
Gratuitous Violence: Some dudes get hit in the head and shot at.
Action: There are some chase scenes.
Laughs: The off-road airplane.
Memorable Scene: Aurora in the shower.
Memorable Quote: Jonathan to Marcus as they're trying to get away on a motorcycle: "They've got an off-road airplane!"
Directed By: John McTiernan
Produced By: Charles Roven, Beau St. Clair, John McTiernan

Rollerball
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:38 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I vaguely remember the original "Rollerball." I think it was the first movie that introduced me to violence, and it was pretty mild by todayís standard. It wasnít that great of a movie, as I recall, but it had its moments, especially the simplicity of the game Ė played on a circular track, well, it was easy to follow the action.

When it was announced that a remake was being made my first reaction was "Why?" But then I thought that, all things considered, this could be one kick-ass, R-rated movie. It had violence potential, had the potential for nudity, had the potential for quality kills, and then the movie rumor mill began: The movie was bad, the movie was being delayed, the movie was bad, the movie was being delayed, scenes were being re-shot, etc. In the end these are signs of a bad movie, and the remake of "Rollerball" just goes to support these signs.

The story kinda goes like this: Rollerball is quickly becoming a runaway hit in Kazakhstan and Petrovich (Jean Reno), the owner dude, quickly realizes one thing: Violence equals ratings. Being the crooked man he is, and hoping to land a huge North American cable contract, Petrovich begins to set up scenarios, unknown to most of the Rrollerball participants, injuring players. Our hero, Jonathan (Chris Klein) is as unsuspecting as the rest of them until Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) clues him in how the cameras all focus on the person to get hit before it happens (so they can catch it on film in all its glory). Jonathan wants out, so does his buddy Marcus (LL Cool J), so in a daring escape attempt they make their way to the Russian border. Blah, blah, blahÖ Jonathan doesnít make it out of Kazakhstan, Petrovich offers Auroraís life as long as Jonathan plays, and in the end Jonathan is the savior of the mining town in Kazakhstan.

Itís not that the story is that bad, it does have potential, the whole good players versus bad players and trying to get even with the bad owner (kinda sounds like the WWF, except for real), but this movie gets lost in trying to be too complex. Take the game of Rollerball in this remake. The original kept it simple. The skaters and their teammates basically went around in a circle. Go fast, slow down, use your blockers, take a nice slingshot maneuver with the help of a motorcycle, and get the ball in the hole. In the remake the rink is now this convoluted figure-8 with ramps and habitrail tubes for your ultimate goal to throw the ball hard enough at a plate so the fireworks go off. It should lead to more action, but instead it leads to just a hodge-podge of things going too fast to follow any action (alright, I know Rollerball isnít really a sport, but at least humor me). Then there was the story, the corruption, and the "give me a break" run for the border where Petrovich uses an off-road airplane to catch our heroes.

Anyway, "Rollerball" had so much potential and probably could have achieved a little bit better success if it just went balls-out, shot for the "R" rating, kicked the violence up a notch, and kept the sport of rollerball as simple as it was in the original. Instead it tried to shoot for the teen crowd, with the rockiní soundtrack, flashy this way and that way action, and a side-shot of a naked Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. Which brings me to some commentary. Now I know Rebecca has been scantily clothed in a variety of magazines and such, but whatís with the disfigurement in her movie career. In "Rollerball" she has a disfiguring scar, in "Dirty Work" she was the bearded lady, and in "X-Men" she was blue. Granted she was a hot looking blue chick, and sheíll probably be a hot looking blue chick again in the X-Men sequel, but Iím really looking forward for a movie where Rebecca is a lead actress who is just normal, and wears skimpy outfits. Sorry, I digress. Back to "Rollerball," well, I guess that was enough about "Rollerball" as well.

Iíll wrap it up by giving "Rollerball" 1 star out of 5. This is a wait for cable movie if there ever was one.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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