27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Keeping Free Will,
This review is from: Rollerball  - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
"Rollerball" is a superb film, possibly one of the best I have ever seen. Not only does it portray a futuristic dystopia where tyrannical global corporations have replaced nation-states as the sources of economic and political power(a 1970's vision which is now a reality), but it is also a compelling action movie and a poignant parable about tyranny versus free will; the collective versus the individual.
James Caan puts in a memorable performance as Jonathan E , the ageing Rollerball champion, whose cult of personality eventually becomes too much of a threat to the shadowy corporate directors' social engineering schemes. Rollerball, a vicious indoor combination of Speedway, Gridiron and Ice Hockey ,is supposed not only to distract and brutalise the masses , but to highlight the importance of the collective and the insignificance of individual effort. It is whenever Jonathan E starts to defy the Corporation that he begins to face serious danger.
"Rollerball" has a similar theme to the films "Network" and "Soylent Green" and of course Orwell's novel "1984" . In all of them ,an heroic ,messianic male individual fights an impersonal, omnipotent corporate tyranny in the name of free will and humanity. "Rollerball"'s triumph is its combination of this morality theme with as much visceral ,dramatic action as you could hope for, as rule changes make Rollerball progressively more violent. The action scenes as Jonathan E's Houston team play Tokyo and New York are right up there with the best in cinema and the ending is both emotional and uplifting.
I have never watched the remake of "Rollerball", nor do I intend to. How could they possibly improve on this original ?
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Initial post: 8 Nov 2008 19:23:45 GMT
J. Scott says:
"I have never watched the remake of "Rollerball", nor do I intend to. How could they possibly improve on this original ? "
I *have* watched it. You made the right decision!!!
Posted on 19 Aug 2010 21:11:21 BDT
this is one of the best reviews of the original film i've readon the net. the original is seriously 'the' only version of the film... so true...no 'one could remake this film...much like the original Patrick Mcgoohan version of The Prisoner. The original format helps define the impact the message have on the viewer...
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