Plot: 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.
Director: Norman Jewison
Released: September 1975
You might be forgiven for seeing aspects of Rollerball thinking it’s going to look and feel a little dated compared to today’s science fiction film, after all, this is something that all sci-fi movies face eventually, however, if you stick at you will find that this film has not only done better than most of its period, but you’ll be rewarded with an exciting and worrying look at the future.
The first thing that you notice about Rollerball is how impressive the film remains, the track that the sport of rollerball looks and feels as authentic and high octane now as it would have done when the film came out, helped massively due to the film contains no CGI or other special effects that would be dated today.
The performances of both the actors and stunt-men is something that should also be commended, especially considering there were no special effects and all the action appeared on screen was practical, it really made the sport come alive and as if you are watching a real sport, not something that’s been created for the film like the one in Alita: Battle Angel.
I remember watching this film as a child and finding the action scenes exciting but the rest of the film too slow-paced and a little boring, however, upon re-watching I now see how much Jonathan’s (Caan) search for meaning and desire to escape the path that has been set for him brings to the film and gives the final sequence a lot more gravity.
If you happen to be a fan of either 70’s cinema, retro design or science fiction, Rollerball should be right up your street. The games of Rollerball are a delight to watch and set in a world that’s living out its own Orwellian nightmare.