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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.67%
Worth A Look: 0.83%
Average: 5%
Pretty Bad: 8.33%
Total Crap84.17%

2 reviews, 108 user ratings

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Rollerball (2002)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"Why remake a great movie as a bad movie?"
1 stars

John McTiernan has directed some really top notch action in his time. Die Hard, The Hunt For Red October, I could go on, but no matter who prepares your "McTiernan career highlights" list, you're never going to find Rollerball on it. This movie is far too botched in far too many ways for anyone to ever claim that it warrants a spot anywhere close to Die Hard. Somewhere around Speed 2 might be closer to the correct level.

See, here's the problem. Rollerball, the original version from 1975, was a fucking great flick. The kind of film you would watch at 11PM on TV at least once a year when you were growing up, and no matter how many times you saw it, it was always just as good as the first time. Why? Because it had everything - violence, sports, chicks, James Caan, societal commentary, not to mention a big fat ending that was so eager to please that it just about reached out of the screen and gave you a handjob on your couch.

Fast forward twenty seven years to now and someone thought it would be a great idea to cast Chris Klein, a man who has all the personality of a tetanus shot, to replace James Caan in a remake of a movie that, even today, has legs.

Then they cast a rapper as his bestest buddy. Then they cast a supermodel as his love interest. Hmm, do you think anyone involved with the casting process of this film actually realized that movies require actors? Ah yes, someone must have clued them in late, as Jean Reno is cast as the evil villain. Only, he seems to be under the impression he's playing Dick Dastardly. You can almost make him out tweaking his moustache at the end of each scene.

So the deal is that it's the future and being as it's the future, we all watch Rollerball for our sporting pleasure. It's a game where players skate around a little figure eight track with tunnels and ramps, with the soul aim of throwing a metal ball into a big hoop. You might know it better as roller-derby with a ball. In the future, this is fun.

In the original film (and sorry to keep harking back, but what's the point in making a bad movie out of a good one?), the Rollerball element was simple. They skated, they got towed by a motorbike sometimes, they beat each other up, they passed sometimes, and they scored. In new, improved Rollerball, the track is so intricate and the rules so bizarre that even the commentator claims to not understand what's going on. We can relate to his predicament, since McTiernan's fetish for Jump Cuts and crossing the axis leaves the viewer totally unaware of who is who, what is what, and whether we're supposed to be cheering or booing. Hey, call me a fuddy duddy, but I happen to like my sports so I can see what the hell is happening, thanks.

So Rollerball is huge and everyone is making money off it and it's rating well, only suddenly it isn't. The giant insta-rating meter begins to show us that people are tuning out by the million because, you know, it's only a dumb rollerskating sport with bikes. So Mr Villain TV owner begins to orchestrate 'accidents', which soon have the ratings meter going through the roof.

Here's a simple question. How does the rating meter show a ten percent drop in the audience every ten seconds? I mean, we know from experience, don't we, that people would rather sit through an hour-long Bowflex commercial than even bother changing the channel with their remote control, so what makes it seem realistic that this wacky ratings meter is going to tell us that millions of people are tuning out just because flying skaters aren't exciting enough at this very minute in time? It's hyper-unrealistic, and speaking of which, let's talk about dialogue.

Holy crap on a stick, if I couldn't write better dialogue while in the midst of a crack binge than the writers here have produced, I'd go out back and shoot myself in the face. Chris Klein, as if anyone familiar with his work needs me to tell them, is the single worst actor on the planet we call Earth today. He's so bad that any scene he doesn't butcher instantly becomes a 'good scene'. He's so bad that LL Cool J looks like he's up for Oscars just standing next to him. In fact, he's so bad that Rebecca Romaine-Lettuce actually looks like a good actress whenever she's within spitting distance of him. But even as bad as Chris Klein is, this script is worse.

The essential problem of this entire production is that it entirely misses the point of the original. The 1975 Rollerball was a great look at how we as a society turn sports into gladatorial competition, and how we get desensitized to violence as a culture. The new version uses the gladatorial competition and violence as the entire goal of the production. Gone is the poignant finale of the original, and in it's place we have a ridiculous end scene involving everyone turning into killers - but it's okay becase they're killing the bad guys.

Gimme a freaking break. Just as I feared the end of professional wrestling when the bad guys became the fan favorites, so too it seems to be nearing the end of the 'hero-based narrative' when everything can be made okay by instigating a little revolution and mass murder for an audience. If this is seriously what makes a good guy, bludgeoning people to death with heavy metal ashtray stands, then I think I'll go back to ribald sex comedies. At least those don't hurt anyone.

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originally posted: 09/04/02 15:29:02
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User Comments

10/31/19 ffffwdtrrrttttttdtrrrr DON'T BUY ffffwdtrrrttttttdtrrrr movie suckz 1 stars
12/01/13 Timothy Welsh Just watch the original 1 stars
9/25/13 David Hollingsworth stick to the great original 1975 classic 1 stars
5/11/11 Silkworm McTiernan balls up! Very very poor 1 stars
1/16/10 Jurij Fedorov One of my favorite movies of all time. 5 stars
3/08/06 myzzy DUMB DUMBER & DUMEST 1 stars
1/08/06 damn some good music 3 stars
1/04/06 Anthony Feor I don't think so 1 stars
10/12/05 Cracked head BOING! 1 stars
7/03/05 Seanboy fuck me this movie is bad, chris klein do the people a favor and just stop 1 stars
5/04/05 Greg Plank Yes it is cheesy, and predictable - but it is still better than Gigli. 3 stars
4/15/05 Alex Really, really, ridiculously bad 1 stars
3/26/05 JC Pierce stupid movie 1 stars
3/12/05 craig varney this movie is skating in mud 1 stars
1/31/05 Jeff Anderson WORST REMAKE OF ALL TIME!! I loved the James Caan original, but this one is PURE GARBAGE!!! 2 stars
1/29/05 terri shaw Haven't they heard if it's not broke don't fix it! Does everything have to be remade? 1 stars
1/02/05 Delirium Tremens I didn't think it was that bad. Then I saw it. 1 stars
11/08/04 raven31407 Greatest Accidental Love Story in Movie History 5 stars
10/17/04 Alex I've shat more intereesting and entertaining drivel than this 1 stars
9/19/04 CharWar I thought it was interesting - Klein was strange & RRS was weird - but cool action 4 stars
8/26/04 Greg Probert sucked 1 stars
8/07/04 Master of disguise is worse Bad, but not that bad. 2 stars
7/17/04 Gray not that bab if you see R version (tities!) 3 stars
6/30/04 Anita Rented it then brought it back halfway through... 1 stars
6/17/04 Spiderfan50 I tried to put my copy in the return slot but the guy said he'd call the cops if I did... 1 stars
6/08/04 Sictek Almost not worth fast forwarding to see Slipknot 1 stars
5/31/04 Troy Kuprash I Didnt Think It Was THAT Bad 3 stars
5/23/04 sixfortyeight RRS naked was the movie's only good part. 1 stars
4/23/04 Gray liked the tits and rob zombies music 2 stars
4/17/04 Jiz I didn't believe it at first, but this really IS one of the worst movies ever 1 stars
4/03/04 da hood i havent ever seen a bigger PILE OF FUCKING STUPID HORSESHIT!SHOULD BE RATED R FOR RETARDED 1 stars
3/28/04 Kev Stunningly awful. It doesn't get much worse than this folks! 1 stars
3/24/04 Ken Stryker Listing To The Rules was timewrentching 1 stars
12/15/03 Kung Jerker Pure crap. 1 stars
12/07/03 john who can say what this movie might have been or once was before they cut one hour out of it 1 stars
11/30/03 Alex Just really, really, really bad.... really!! 1 stars
10/21/03 Dean Rapp I like the nudie bits 3 stars
10/14/03 Erik Van Sant Chris Klein and LL Cool J are the gayest duo this year! Not to be missed! Eat snacky smores 2 stars
9/29/03 Eloise John McTiernan shame on you! 1 stars
9/27/03 Ross Glenn Hideously bad story, and badly filmed besides 1 stars
8/29/03 Monster W. Kung BOING! 1 stars
8/09/03 Joey Bomb 1 stars
8/08/03 Piz Whoever said, "Let's film this in NightVision" should be shot. 1 stars
7/02/03 Vicious it hurt my eyes 1 stars
5/19/03 Jack Sommersby Unfathomably awful remake of the awful original. 1 stars
5/18/03 tl chris klein is so ugly. why does he get work at all? 1 stars
5/07/03 syrius hhmmmmm...... this needs a lower score 1 stars
3/16/03 Cameron Slick No social critique of 75 film this is violent confusing choppy Klein makes for bland hero. 2 stars
3/01/03 Vince I had been warned. I still watched it. Pity. 1 stars
2/18/03 taj Hate to pile on, but this one really IS that bad. 1 stars
2/15/03 Interrog8 Awful in every way. Unless you watch it as a comedy that is supposed to be that bad. 1 stars
2/01/03 lisa Like it 3 stars
2/01/03 scott A BAD MOVIE 1 stars
1/31/03 Cracked head BOINNNGG!!! 1 stars
1/29/03 wintermute Rollerball made me cut off my right arm. 1 stars
1/28/03 The Aussie Film Reviewer McTiernan missed the point of the original COMPLETELY. 1 stars
1/19/03 yoyo Holy shit. I just lost 2 hours of my life. 1 stars
1/19/03 Monster W. Kung 'Just as worse'? Are you a goddamn illiterate? 1 stars
1/13/03 Chiendog Most hypocritical film ever made. Director McTiernan should be hung by his balls. 1 stars
12/21/02 Edric Blows my dog 1 stars
12/09/02 Pete Are you fucking kidding me? 1 stars
11/02/02 liz lost please dont waste your money on this crap, dont make the same mistake, fair warning... 1 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 I never actually saw this movie, but it looked really bad. 1 stars
10/23/02 Monster W. Kung Holy crap, did I ever laugh. What the fuck was that night scene with cartoons sounds about? 1 stars
9/23/02 syrius I'll go to hell first before i have to see this piece of shit again 1 stars
9/19/02 Interrog8 Why am I banging my head against the wall? Cuz it feels good when I stop. 1 stars
9/05/02 The Chronic Mastubator It's better than Juwanna Man? That's a screaming endorsement! What's not? This is terrible. 1 stars
9/04/02 NavyUboat Just a bad remake....not any better than the orig, but just as worse 2 stars
9/02/02 Roger McCraicin Film=shite. The 'stan & Russia look eg squalor, atmospherics etc is spot on, I been there. 2 stars
8/19/02 Shaun meh, this movie is meh 1 stars
8/16/02 MR Begs the viewer to demand "what were they thinking?" 1 stars
8/13/02 snowconehead not worth more than eight words of critique 1 stars
8/07/02 Kooze Heinous 1 stars
8/02/02 IH8U2 Could it be possible to get a rating worse than Sucks All Ass. This piece of shit gets it. 1 stars
7/10/02 jerimiah movie sucked, but wow, did you them tits on rebecca r-stamos?????? 2 stars
7/01/02 Jay Really does suck all ass. 1 stars
6/25/02 Jiz Absolutely hilarious that hollywood could produce a movie this bad 1 stars
6/20/02 Chris Wow...I didn't think it would be this horrible! I agree with Interrog8. 1 stars
6/06/02 Interrog8 Worst movie I have seen to date, kill yourself before you see this movie. 1 stars
6/04/02 vladimir fucked up movie 1 stars
6/02/02 sdjfsdkjf die chris klein you mother fucking sod 1 stars
4/11/02 Adam i have nothing to say. this rating speaks for itself. 1 stars
4/10/02 Wiz Casey bleh 1 stars
4/07/02 Film Dude UGH. 1 stars
4/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz At least they left out the "corporate anthem" bullshit this time around; little improvement 2 stars
4/05/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Unneeded remake of an unneeded original. 2 stars
4/05/02 andrea If only I had read the reviews before paying to see this piece of dung 1 stars
3/31/02 Rockitman007 Arnageddon is drawing nigh when you remake "Rollerball" 1 stars
3/31/02 Film Guy O why, why did i see this piece of shit 1 stars
3/30/02 Paul Meade See the original 1 stars
3/26/02 Jiz oh shit 1 stars
3/22/02 Ass, Jack If a worse movie could have been written, I don't know. If there was nudity it = just bad 1 stars
3/19/02 Joe Deblow It's Battlefield Earth fun! 1 stars
3/15/02 Paul Guimond unwatchable. we left half way through and demanded our money back 1 stars
3/13/02 Melissa in NYC Ack! 1 stars
3/11/02 Janus the Anus What a hot steaming bag of shit. Fuck Klein, fuck Pogue, and fuck me for buying a ticket 1 stars
3/09/02 Mister Char james caan would be spinning in his grave, oh wait he's alive 1 stars
3/07/02 Nathan (Comic Book Guy voice) Worst film ever!!! 1 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee While watching this piece of shit, I was certain someone had shoved hot coals in my eyes. 1 stars
2/27/02 rebecca chris klien pulls a keanu and sucks worse than keanu and should die right now 1 stars
2/22/02 babooshka if you enjoyed this film, you should kill yourself, now! 1 stars
2/15/02 Rampage What's with the crappy remakes? 1 stars
2/14/02 Fenian It sucked all ass, but it did have one or two funny lines. Off-road airplane, anyone? 1 stars
2/12/02 Andrew Carden Far-Fetched, Goofy, and Quite Boring Remake Of An Already Horrible Movie. 1 stars
2/12/02 The Movie Guy Afwful, awful, awful. That pretty much covers it 1 stars
2/10/02 Joe Deblow Rollerball=BattleField Earth 2 1 stars
2/09/02 Todd I hate my friends for making me see this, I'd rather kill myself than go through it again. 1 stars
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  08-Feb-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-Jun-2002



Directed by
  John McTiernan

Written by
  John Pogue
  David C. Wilson

  Chris Klein
  LL Cool J
  Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
  Andrew Bryniarski
  Jean Reno

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