Rollerball [2001]

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3 1/2

Based on the futuristic sci-fi film of 1975 starring James Caan, this new version of ROLLERBALL moves the sport to emerging Soviet republics and closer to current time. Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein), a young sports hotshot, joins his former high school teammate Marcus (LL Cool J) in the recently invented team game that combines roller derby, extreme skating, hockey, basketball and a few twists. Playing on game inventor Alexei Petrovichs (Jean Reno) Red Horsemen team, Jonathan quickly becomes a crowd favorite. When an accident boosts television ratings, violence in the games begins to escalate. But Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Jonathans motorcycle riding teammate shows him that the accident was planned. But to stop the violence, Jonathan has to survive a no-holds-barred championship game. Exciting extreme sports action with rock concert-style lights and pyrotechnics, along with the rock soundtrack, is sure to attract young teen crowds.

Like the 1975 original, the film is filled with violent images as the game players slam one another into walls, viciously hit each other and cause deadly flips. As if introducing this years Olympic games, the opening scene involves a dangerous and illegal street luge race, which could inspire imitation. The racers bump each other, slide under trucks, dodge cars and, emphasizing the danger, one racer ends up flying through a plate glass window. Like modern gladiators, the sports heroes are treated royally with fast cars, fawning women and club parties. The teams and the locker rooms are co-ed, with glimpses of near-naked women and men dressing, or undressing, between games. One player even opens his towel to taunt a female player. Aurora and Jonathan are shown lying together naked on a steam room bench, implying a sexual relationship, although explicit nudity or action is avoided. Frequent obscenities, strong profanities and familiar finger gestures fly throughout the film. Initially drawn by the money, Marcus and Jonathan realize there are more important reasons to leave the games. But minor moral moments fail to overcome the barrage of violent scenes and frequent vulgarities in ROLLERBALL.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
MGM, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times Mild 4, moderate 8

Obscene Language: Many (24) times F-word 2, s-word 18, other 1, finger gesture 3

Profanity: Many times Regular 9 (GD 7, J, C sake); exclamatory 3 (OMG, Dear G)

Violence: Many times Moderate and severe (man hits car/ flies through glass window, hits/ falls/ shoves in game, man hit in face w/ steel ball, bloody face, hockey-like slams into walls, property destruction, leg broken, fiery explosion, shootings, neck broken, choking, shotgun blast kills man, rioting people punch/ hit)

Sex: Implied once (naked couple on locker room bench no explicit nudity)

Nudity: Few times (female rear in thong, brief side breast); Near nudity Several times (Woman in bra on poster, topless women several times with back to camera, low-cut dress/costumes emphasize cleavage, skimpy costumes on club dancers/ waitresses, TV commercial with men in towels dancing)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (comment about womans breasts, man grabs womans rear, man opens towel to show self to female, reference to size of genitals, woman pulls man to chest, women at club fawn on men, comment about affair, woman says plan to take man home to bed)

Drugs: Cigar/cigarette smoking, beer/ alcohol drinking, reference to drug use by players

Other: Illegal street luge, gambling on sports, Coptic priest attends game but leaves when action becomes violent, man lies about maintaining integrity of game

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and young adults

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