Rollerball

1975, Movie, R, 129 mins

Review

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It is the year 2018 and society is rid of war and poverty, and the only violence left is supplied by the corporation-controlled rollerball teams, who fight to the bloody finish with spikes and motorcycles in a sport combining roller derby, football, and hockey. When champion rollerball player Caan is asked to retire because the corporate executives who rule the world are fearful that he has become too popular with the masses, he fights the move. To get rid of him, the corporate executives decide to change the rollerball rules and make it a fight to the death. Produced and directed by Norman Jewison, this science-fiction film envisions a time when major corporations will control the populace by offering them a brutal and compelling entertainment to distract from the real social issues at hand and act as a funnel for their frustrations, hatred, and resentment. While the questions raised about the relationship between corporate power and sporting events are valid and intriguing, ROLLERBALL is, unfortunately, hopelessly heavy-handed and ponderous. From its gloomy and solemn air to the overbearing use of baroque music, the film is far too self-important for its own good. Luckily, the performances of Caan and Richardson are excellent, and the rollerball sequences are fast-paced and interesting. leave a comment

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