Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Quick indicators that the makers of Rollerball have hideously bad judgment: Chris Klein as an object of worship. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as a Russian with a worse accent than Nicole Kidman’s in Birthday Girl. Jean Reno in a huge fur coat saying things such as “I will disappear your whole family!” And, most disturbing, a future in which Pink is the world’s hottest entertainer. A remake of the 1975 film in which James Caan played the hot star of 2005’s most popular sport, John McTiernan’s latest is pure headache from beginning to end: dizzying camerawork, incessant death metal, inane dialogue, and a barely-there plot that’ll drive you to hurl your Goobers at the screen. Klein is Jonathan, a charmless po’ boy who’s urged by pal Marcus (LL Cool J, the only player who seems above this dreck) to forgo an offer by the NHL and get rich quick playing corporate-run rollerball, a game whose intensity is enhanced by Pink bitch-singing on video screens in the background. But here’s the evil secret: Rollerball’s existence relies on ratings, and each team’s owner—gasp!—encourages violence to get the public watching. Jonathan challenges the system, he and Marcus eventually try to escape the madness via motorcycle, and for a while everything goes green, as if someone were wearing night-vision goggles—but no one really is. Reno’s maniacal version of a company bigwig is a pathetic caricature of the power-hungry tyrant he could have been—though his death by steel tennis ball is a highlight—and Romijn-Stamos’ Aurora is so pointless that you wonder why the screenwriter just didn’t let her explode along with her sabotaged bike. By Rollerball’s end, you’ll consider Pink the rosiest part of this godawful look at the future. —Tricia Olszewski