After 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' this couldn't be a more abrupt career twist for director Jewison. Though very dated now it's dystopian vision of corporate rule and 'game as opium for the masses' is still an interesting conceit.
Rollerball is either an art film made in the style of a B-movie or a B-movie with the ethos of an art film and either way it’s absolutely fantastic, a lost treasure of the science fiction genre. The editing should have won it an Academy Award.
A strange film but one I can't help returning to whenever it's shown. Its dystopian vision is clunky, the plot ridiculous and the scenes between the action sequences simply dull. At the same time, I can't resist its operatic grandeur: the dated 70s aesthetic, the bombastic classical hits soundtrack and the verve of the editing as the games degenerate into nightmare. I can't think of any other film quite like it.
Works incrediby well as both a movie about sports, featuring probably the most thrilling sport sequences ever created (from scratch literaly), and dystopian sc-fi; a world so close to ours where humans are allowed every luxury they want but must obey to the big corporations. Caan is perfect as the one individuality that distinguishes itself from the rest and is therefore a threat to the system. Entertaining as fuck.