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ROLLERBALL

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What You Need To Know:

ROLLERBALL is a remake of a 1975 movie starring James Caan. In the new movie, Chris Klein plays Jonathan, a daredevil hockey player convinced by his black friend to go to Asia and play the dangerous game, a mixture of ice hockey, roller derby and wrestling. Jonathan becomes a star, but the owner of the game, a ruthless Russian named Petrovich, decides to increase the violence in order to get higher TV ratings. Petrovich needs the ratings in order to interest some Cable TV owners in North America. The violence gets out of hand, endangering Jonathan’s secret Russian girlfriend who also plays rollerball.

ROLLERBALL is another hamfisted action extravaganza directed by John McTiernan (the original DIE HARD), whose career regrettably seems to be going nowhere fast. ROLLERBALL is loud, brash, monotonous, and incomprehensible. The acting is virtually non-existent, and the editing and shot setups don’t make much sense, either. Morally, the movie decries the violence that Petrovich instills in the game, but, at the same time, it’s not adverse to showing slow-motion replays of some of the more violent scenes. ROLLERBALL also includes some foul language, a revenge theme and brief sexual content

Content:

(Ro, B, C, LLL, VVV, S, NN, AA, DD, M) Romantic worldview with some moral & redemptive elements, including Russian Orthodox priest watches sporting event; 39 obscenities (including one “f” word), nine strong profanities, two mild profanities, & several obscene gestures; strong action violence includes falls, spills, body checking, & fisticuffs in specially designed roller rink, men race through streets on skateboards built like luge toboggans, man clubbed directly in the head with a blunt object (shown three or four times), brutal shootings, & a couple of chase scenes with vehicles wrecking; implied fornication; upper & rear female nudity, female cleavage & partial male nudity; alcohol use & drunken revelry; smoking & marijuana use; and, evading police, threats, extortion, & revenge motif.

More Detail:

If you’re going to remake another movie, it’s better to remake a mediocre movie rather than a really good one. Sometimes, however, even that doesn’t work.

Such is the case with the new ROLLERBALL, a remake of the disappointing 1975 movie starring James Caan. In the new movie, Chris Klein plays Jonathan, a daredevil hockey player convinced by his black friend, Ridley, to go to Central Asia and play the dangerous game, a mixture of ice hockey, roller derby and wrestling. Jonathan becomes a star, but the owner of the game, a ruthless Russian named Petrovich, decides to increase the violence in order to get higher TV ratings. Petrovich needs the higher ratings in order to get a cable deal in North America. The violence gets out of hand, however, endangering Jonathan and his friend, as well as Jonathan’s secret Russian girlfriend, Aurora, who also plays rollerball. Jonathan also becomes angry about the plight of the people on the streets, who clearly have been oppressed by ruthless gangsters like Petrovich.

ROLLERBALL is another hamfisted action extravaganza directed by John McTiernan (the original DIE HARD), whose career seems to be going nowhere fast. ROLLERBALL is loud, brash, monotonous, and incomprehensible. The acting is virtually non-existent, and the editing and shot setups don’t make much sense, either. Only the movie’s opening action sequence – when Jonathan races through the streets of San Francisco lying on a skateboard device – shows any promise.

Morally, the movie decries the violence that Petrovich tries to instill in the game, but, at the same time, it’s not adverse to showing slow-motion replays of some of the more violent scenes. The same thing seems to happen in the earlier movie, which was recently shown on Cable TV after this movie opened. ROLLERBALL also includes some foul language, a revenge theme and brief sexual content.

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Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.