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An eccentric scientist working for a large drug company is working on a research project in the Amazon jungle. He sends for a research assistant and a gas chromatograph because he's close ... See full summary »
A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
In this fast action-packed thriller, Jonathan (Chris Klein), Marcus (LL Cool J), and Aurora (Rebecca Romijn) compete in a dangerous, fierce sport called Rollerball. Although, Johnathan and Marcus try to quit, cruel and vindictive promoter Alexi Petrovich (Jean Reno) encourages them to still participate. Petrovich sends his men to attack them while they are on a trip, but Johnathan survives. In the end during a game of Rollberball, Petrovich attempts a public execution of Johnathan, but the question is will Johnathan get revenge. Written by
What channel did you say you gave us in your territory?
In the original film, the game attempted to stand as an outlet of Corporation superiority; constantly demonstrating to the consumers (the people) that individuality is futile. Apparently, one does not have to either read the screenplay or physically watch the original film for there to be a remake. Decent director John McTiernan, who "wow-ed" me with such films as the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair as well as his early cult hits like Die Hard and Predator has obviously lost his ability to either A) do remakes or B) handle a camera with any sense of decency. If I was allowed one question to have answered through the course of my life, my question would be, "What was the point of Rollerball the remake?", and I do believe there would be answer from any higher authority. This film single handedly goes down in the record books as not just the worst remake to come out of Hollywood, but it is also a double threat, with it being in the top 100 of worst films ever conceived. It is embarrassing to say, but it has to be said, that Rollerball is one of a few select films that demonstrated no ability in the fields of direction, acting, cinematography, or writing. Nothing, I repeat, nothing of value can be found with this film, and I even tried hard, but one must easily look at this film and simply state, "It failed".
There was absolutely nothing science fiction about this film outside of the possibility of the actual Rollerball game being a rather sci-fi-esquire type game, but when you look at it, there is nothing special about the sport. The 1975 film version was extremely science fiction with its views on the future of our world, the surrounding environment, as well as subtly placed usage of the laser gun. Yet somehow, this 2002 version is able to call itself a "science fiction" merely on the premise that it takes place three years in the future. Three. Whole. Years. That to me is the staple of why this film corrupted from the inside out. The writing was atrocious to say the least. It felt as if the writers of this film, one Larry Ferguson or one John Pogue (odd, this horrid smelling filth of a film took two of Hollywood's scribes ouchers!), took random ideas, threw them together and attempted to create continuity in the course of 97 minutes. No doubtably procrastination was an issue, and to cut corners to meet a deadline these avid writers chose to cut characters, huge plot points, and any sort of solid stream of consciousness to create possibly the worst that Hollywood could ever offer. Nothing, in the form of script, plot, or action/adventure is worth mentioning in this film. Words came out of the actor's mouths, but they meant nothing, they stood for nothing, and half the time it just had me laughing due to the staged words that they were dealt. Again, there was no value in this film.
Chris Klein has ridden the shirt tales of American Pie for a very long time (I always saw him as the Weakest Link of those films), so he decided to take a leading man's role in Rollerball in hopes that he could transform his career into a leading man, but you can't make cardboard stand on his own. Could Chris have attempted to grow a backbone for this film is that possible? The words that came out of his mouth had no emotion; he was together with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos for purely the physical admiration, and someone needs to tell him that by squinting his eyes harder doesn't indicate that he is upset or angry. I cannot seem to shake the image of him riding with L.L. Cool J in the Russian night on a motorcycle using "night vision" for dramatic purposes, and Klein speaking unattached words out of my mind. It was hilarity on a grand scale. I remember the pair talking about something, but the laughter coming from my mouth was far more overpowering. Nothing (which seems to be the common theme of this film) is of value in this film. That isn't to say that those like LL, Jean Reno, Stamos, or even my favorite Naveen Andrews were any better. Klein led the pact with kindergarten acting skills, but Reno was completely over the top, which caused confusion as to who he was and why he was involved financially, Andrews was nothing more than filler, Stamos was used for the nudity that was all, and LL kept the "hip-ness" factor on a grander scale. Nobody demonstrated anything close to talent in this film and it ultimately boils down to the failure of decent director John McTiernan.
Rollerball is one of those films that gives remakes a horrid name. Even if the original wasn't worth writing home to mother about, films of this stature only place a black scar on the future of remakes. I have to be worried about McTiernan because of my enjoyment of some of his past films and how anyone could see the final cut of this film and say, "This is my best work yet!" If you cannot say those words as you hand the final reel to the distribution company, I would reconsider the release. Writing was far worse that imaginable, the acting was nowhere to be seen, and the cinematography (something I didn't feel like going into too deeply with this review) felt as if it was done by those who are afraid of camera. Honestly, I have seen better amateur work than what Rollerball had to offer. Why is this film still being distributed? My only wish is that future directors and actors actually take pride in their work instead of just allowing the paycheck to do the talking. Ignore this film or it will haunt you the rest of your life!
Grade: * out of *****
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