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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.68%
Worth A Look: 0.84%
Average: 5.04%
Pretty Bad: 8.4%
Total Crap84.03%

2 reviews, 107 user ratings

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Rollerball (2002)
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by EricDSnider

"The first unqualified trainwreck of the year!"
1 stars

It's a good thing "Rollerball" was pushed back from its original summer 2001 release date. If it had come out then, it would have been lost in a sea of bad movies, indistinguishable from its peers. Coming out now, though, it earns a distinction: The First Unqualified Trainwreck of 2002!

Mercy me, this movie stinks. It is that rare combination of bad writing, bad direction and bad acting -- the trifecta of badness. Each element works in concert with the others to produce a truly, truly bad movie, worse than the sum of its parts. It's synergism at its finest.

The bad writing is by Larry Ferguson and John Pogue, who between them claim credit for screenplays like "Beverly Hills Cop II," "Highlander," "The Skulls" and "U.S. Marshals." (They are working from William Harrison's short story, on which the vastly superior 1975 "Rollerball" film is also based.) The plot deals with a Russian sport called rollerball, in which participants roller-blade around a rink and attempt to get a metal ball into a hoop. Also, there are motorcycles. Some of the players wear freaky masks. It's like a crack nightmare version of the XFL, mixed with a bit of hockey and Quidditch. (As the sports commentator says, "The rules are Russian and complicated," so he just skips them.)

Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein), a promising NHL player, is the newest rollerball recruit, thanks to his buddy Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J). They are disturbed to realize, however, that when things turn violent in the game, the TV ratings go up -- which means maybe, just maybe, the ruthless owner Alexi Petrovich (Jean Reno) is rigging it so the violence happens on purpose.

The dialogue is uniformly awkward. The protagonist, clearly not the erudite, scholarly type, uses the word "baubles" in casual conversation. He friend remarks that "we both know cash is king" -- the sort of cliché you read in advertising copy, but not in real life.

Adding to this is the bad acting, courtesy of Chris Klein, who is in full Keanu Reeves mode. He's wooden when he should be excited, and explosive when he should be calm. His character makes no sense -- not his words, not his actions, not his motivations. He's a man who does things because the script tells him to, and for no other reason.

LL Cool J gets his share of hammy moments, too, as does Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as a fellow player and Jonathan's love interest. But if there were an Oscar for scenery-chewing, Jean Reno would win it, and then they'd retire the category. If his evil Russian businessman character were MEANT to be funny, it would be hysterical.

The director is John McTiernan, who also helmed "Predator," "Die Hard" and "The Hunt for Red October" -- good movies, all. However, he also gave us "The Last Action Hero," "Medicine Man" and "The 13th Warrior," so I don't know what you expected. He filmed "Rollerball" entirely in Confuse-O-Vision, ruining any chance of exciting us with the game scenes because we never have any idea what's going on. One entire sequence is shot with a green filter on the camera. Why? FOR NO REASON.

Potentially, this movie could have commented on pop-cultural bloodlust and the commercialization of sports. Instead, it is too violent and commercialized. It has no idea what it's trying to say, and even as escapist entertainment, it can't even manage one decent action scene.

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originally posted: 02/09/02 05:34:11
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User Comments

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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