Based on the 1975 film starring James Caan, this new version of ROLLERBALL moves the sport to emerging Soviet republics and closer to current time. Chris Klein and LL Cool J play teammates Jonathan Cross, a young sports hotshot, and team leader Marcus, in the recently invented team game that combines roller derby, extreme skating, hockey, basketball and a few extra twists. When a sports accident boosts television ratings, Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Jonathan’s motorcycle riding teammate shows him that the accident was planned. But to stop the game’s escalating violence, Jonathan has to survive a no-holds-barred championship. Exciting extreme sports action with rock concert-style lights and pyrotechnics, along with the rock soundtrack, is sure to attract young teen crowds.
As if introducing this year’s Olympic games, the opening scene involves a dangerous and illegal “street luge” race, which could inspire imitation. The film is filled with violent images as the game players slam one another into walls, viciously hit each other and cause deadly flips. The locker rooms are co-ed, with glimpses of near-naked women and men dressing, or undressing, between games, although explicit nudity or action is largely avoided. Frequent obscenities, strong profanities and familiar finger gestures fly throughout the film. Minor moral moments fail to overcome the barrage of violent scenes and frequent vulgarities in ROLLERBALL.