May 27, 2021
I never saw the original Rollerball, but this remake has a pretty bad reputation. Turns out its reputation is very much warranted, even so McTiernan's train wreck is still somewhat interesting, not in the least because it goes all-in on gritty kitsch, the fact that is fails so spectacularly only adds to the fun.
Jonathan is waiting to break through as an ice hockey player, from time to time earning a quick buck on the side. Ridley, an old friend, convinces him to join the rollerball league instead. It's a new and aggressive, televised sport where one can make a lot of money, but once you become popular the rules are stacked against you.
The rollerball sport makes no sense at all, the characters look dopey, the drama is hilarious, and the plot is a downright mess, but McTiernan powers through and serves 100 minutes off constant action. It's a pretty dumb film, but at least it never pretends to be anything more, which I appreciated.