Rollerball is a dystopia about the world some time in the future with corporations instead of states. It follows the story of the captain of a rollerball team (rollerball is a made-up sports game that looks a little like quidditch, but has motorcycles and rollers instead of brooms), who became so very popular that the governing clique decided that he’s a threat to their power and should be removed. He didn’t agree.
Frankly, it’s nothing interesting. The plot is hackneyed and has nothing in it able to surprise anybody: a hero of the demos defies the highest authority, and he does that because the authority foolishly tries to supress him, even though he didn’t give them a single occasion to do that; the confrontation grows and grows, and soon the explosion becomes inevitable, but the authority keeps on pushing, and there you have it. A lot of the circumstances in the story are murky, unintelligible. Also, the powers that be look implausibly stupid in that confrontation.
And at the same time the scenery looks totally ridiculous and naïve by today’s standards – and by any standars, really. Same goes to decor, costumes, etc. – everything depicting the future. Technological solutions are not very curious – or bold, for that matter, – more like benign, soft, compromising.
All in all, it’s an outdated and unnecessary film. An empty space. Not worth the time.
Released in: 1975
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Written by: William Harrison
Performed by: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn, Pamela Hensley, Barbara Trentham, John Normington, Shane Rimmer, Burt Kwouk, Nancy Bleier
Entertaining quality: 4- out of 5
Art quality: 3+ out of 5
IMDB page: link