Now, granted, I’ve never seen the original “Rollerball” starring the great James Caan, but I think I can assure you, that it might have been better than this fiasco. The movie force-feeds us predictable and uninspired action scenes of people rolling around on their amped up blades and motorcycles as different growling and hooting players wearing ridiculous costumes and helmets bash each others skulls in etching to grab a hold of the rollerball attempting to score a point for a specific country as different announcers from the countries broadcasting the games holler at us through the screen play-by-play.
Director Mctiernan seems to be off his game (pun not intended), as he can barely keep up with the small rollerball. He and his shakey cameras follow the players around attempting to make the action seem realistic but instead just becomes plain confusing and annoying at times. At one point there is a really irritating scene where we see the two main characters attempting to escape. Can someone tell me what the deal is with the green lens? I don’t know what happened, but this scene was so amateurish and ridiculous that I could barely contain myself.
The casting is pretty bad as we join Chris Klein in for James Caan’s role as Jonathan Cross, the hotshot player who begins to suspect something fishy going on in this game. He has zero charisma and less believability as an action hero as his scenes where he fights to survive in the climactic last roller ball game seems so formulaic and contrived.Rapper LL cool J hams it up big-time as Jonathan’s best friend and mentor who is an old-timer in the sport and tells Jonathan to keep his mouth shut and play the game. We see more zeroes as the chemistry between Klein and Cool J also seems generic and doesn’t do well for the movie’s action scenes.
We also have Rebecca Romjin- Stamos, who plays Aurora, the German bombshell, who cannot seem to arise from her wooden acting ability. She is barely in the movie to begin with and participates in the movies stale romance between her and Klein’s character. The characters are nothing but one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs, as they try really hard to bring some excitement into the movie, but nothing in the world could pump some life into this as Roller ball is nothing but a giant wrecking ball. It’s not wonder James Caan didn’t even appear in this for a cameo. All in all this is a terrible big-budget fiasco with a go nowhere plot and terrible cast. John McTiernan must really re-assess his skills and re-think his career.