In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.
Norman Jewison and William Harrison expand Harrison’s short story into a full length feature film, with great results. Story takes place in 2018 and the world is a global corporate state, a hegemony of six ruling cartels. There are no wars, poverty and etc, so the cartels provide the antidote to pent up frustrations with Rollerball, a bloodthirsty arena sport where no quarter is given or taken. But when the sports number one star, Jonathan E, becomes a free spirit and too big for the sport, the corporations aim to retire him…
Headed by a superb James Caan as Jonathan, the performances are from the high end, the photography superb and the action during the games themselves is beautifully choreographed. The use of classical music to run concurrent with the themes in the narrative is smartly rendered to the tricksy plot, while the writing is sharp and deserving of the utmost attention from the viewer. It’s folly to suggest that when the film is away from the Rollerball ring it sags a touch, so patience is required and a respect of literate posturing is also expected to get the most out of it.
A deft crafted dystopian sci-fier with literate smarts and lusty blood letting. 7.5/10
Algonquin, United Artists by Norman Jewison, William Harrison.
Stars: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck.
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Sport
Keywords: sports team future dystopia games rollerskating future sport
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