Rollerball (2002 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John McTiernan|
|Produced by||John McTiernan
Beau St. Clair
|Screenplay by||Larry Ferguson
|Based on||short story "Roller Ball Murder"
by William Harrison
1975 screenplay Rollerball
by William Harrison
LL Cool J
|Music by||Éric Serra|
|Edited by||Robert K. Lambert
|Mosaic Media Group
Helkon Media KG
|Distributed by||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (USA)
Columbia Pictures (International)
|Running time||98 minutes|
Rollerball is a 2002 remake of the 1975 science-fiction film of the same name. This updated version stars Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn, and Naveen Andrews. It was directed by John McTiernan and has a much greater concentration on action with more muted social and political overtones. Unlike the first film, it takes place in the present rather than a seemingly dystopian future.
Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) invites NHL hopeful Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) to join him playing for the Zhambel Horsemen in Kazakhstan. The highly paid Marcus and Jonathan are teamed with low-paid locals, who are often severely injured in the game, which is an extraordinarily violent extension of roller derby involving motorcycles, a metal ball, and many trappings of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
In the beginning, Jonathan, the team's star player and poster child of promoter Alexi Petrovich (Jean Reno), is enamored by the high-octane sport, the popularity, sports cars and his female teammate Aurora (Rebecca Romijn). But Jonathan and Ridley eventually discover that the cynical Alexi and his opportunistic assistant, Sanjay (Naveen Andrews), have a vested interest in keeping the game as popular as possible, through planned gory "accidents" and ensuring that Jonathan and Ridley cannot quit the team and remain high-profile stars.
After an accident almost causes Aurora to be killed, Jonathan and Ridley decide that they need to flee the country to save their lives. The two are followed by Alexi and multiple body guards, who attack the two before they can reach the border, resulting in Ridley's death.
Following the escape attempt, Alexi tries to plan a public execution of Jonathan by removing all the rules from the upcoming Rollerball match. However, Jonathan, with the help of his team mates, start a revolution, causing the fans to see the sport for what it really is, and eventually taking Alexi's life.
- Chris Klein as Jonathan Cross
- Jean Reno as Alexi Petrovich
- LL Cool J as Marcus Ridley
- Rebecca Romijn as Aurora "the Black Widow"
- Naveen Andrews as Sanjay
- Mike Dopud as Michael "the Assassin"
- Kata Dobó as Katya Dobolakova
- Lucia Rijker as Lucia Ryjker
- Oleg Taktarov as Oleg Denekin
- Paul Heyman as Sports Announcer
- Janet Wright as Coach Olga
The film features cameo appearances by Pink, Slipknot, Carroll Shelby, Paul Heyman and Shane McMahon. The former's appearance was digitally added after filming their performance in front of green screen.
The score was released, but the soundtrack was not.
- "Boom" – P.O.D.
- "Told You So" – Drowning Pool
- "Ride" – Beautiful Creatures
- "Millionaire" – Rappagariya
- "I Am Hated" – Slipknot
- "Body Go" – Hardknox
- "Feel So Numb" – Rob Zombie
- "Keep Away" – Godsmack
- "Insane in the Brain" – Sen Dog
- "Flashpoint" – Fear Factory
- "When I Come Around" – Green Day
- "Crawling in the Dark" – Hoobastank
- "Time to Play" – Pillar
- "Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)" – Rob Zombie
Rollerball was heavily panned by critics. Time Out's Trevor Johnson described it as "a checklist shaped by a 15-year-old mallrat: thrashing metal track, skateboards, motorbikes, cracked heads and Rebecca Romijn with her top off", while Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Roger Ebert called it "an incoherent mess, a jumble of footage in search of plot, meaning, rhythm and sense".
The film's lead, Chris Klein, was also a subject of criticism, being referred to as a bland hero.
Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 28th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 3%.
The film was a box-office flop, earning a worldwide total of $26 million compared to a production budget of $70 million. In 2014, the LA Times listed the film as one of the most expensive box office flops of all time. Romijn was nominated for a Razzie Award as Worst Supporting Actress.
The creator of Rollerball, science fiction author William Harrison said: "I've never watched the 2002 incarnation of Rollerball, and have no interest in it."
- "Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- Eller, Claudia,"The costliest box office flops of all time", Los Angeles Times (January 15, 2014)
- Rollerball at the Internet Movie Database
- Rollerball at AllMovie
- Rollerball at Rotten Tomatoes
- Rollerball at Box Office Mojo