Futuresport (1998)


Director: Ernest Dickerson
Starring: Dean Cain, Vanessa L Williams, Wesley Snipes
Running time: 86 mins
Audio format: Stereo
Year made: 1998
Notes: Scene access, Filmographies, Video trailer,  Soundtrack in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, Subtitles in 20 different languages
Region 2
Type of disc: Single layer, single-sided
No of chapters: 28
Film format/length: 16:9 widescreen enhanced /
Columbia TriStar Home Video0

It is the year 2025. The Hawaiian Liberation Army (I kid you not) is waging a terrorist campaign against mainland America to gain that island's independence. The terrorists are in secret financially backed by a consortium of Pacific states led by Australia!

Anyhow, into this geopolitical milieu, steps athletic superstar Tre Ramzey, played by Dean Cain, TV's Superman in Lois & Clark. The sport he plays is a new game called rollerba . . . er, sorry, futuresport which is so fast that it is difficult to follow what the heck is exactly is going on. Think Rollerball as seen in the recent remake and the 1975 original starring James Caan - except without motorcycles (which I sorta missed).

Anyhow, Tre suggests that why don't the two superpowers involved settle their differences with a futuresport game instead of going to war! After all, the game was invented so that rival street gangs could settle their differences peacefully. So why don't global superpower nations and blocs also settle their issues like this?

What is even more ridiculous and preposterous than a full-grown man making such a suggestion in all seriousness is that both superpowers accept his proposal!

Yup, that's right. Instead of fighting it out on the battlefield for Hawaii (prime piece of real estate what with the ocean and beaches and everything), North America and Australia are going to have a Rollerba, er sorry, futuresport match. Why haven't anyone thought of that before? Why, we can have George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein arm wrestle over who should get Iraq and its oil. No need for invading and clashing armies. Israel and Palestine can finally sort out their problems over a friendly soccer match (loser gets kicked out of the Holy Land!).

Heck, all sports movies have a BIG game as its finale, but having superpowers settle territorial disputes as an excuse for one is definitely stretching it. Besides the BIG match, Futuresport crams in a subplot about a kidnapping and a violent gun fight right before it.

THE DISC: Not much in the way of special features. Um, actually nothing. Image is crisp and clear and so is the sound though. Don't watch the included trailer though: it's edited in a way so as to cause epileptic fits!

WORTH IT? As you might have gathered by now, Futuresport is crap and not even very entertaining crap at that. It is just bland and easily forgettable. It steals a lot of clichés not just from Rollerball, but also from the likes of Blade Runner and countless other sci-fi movies. Futuresport was one of the most expensive made-for-television movies ever made (clocking in at $9 million) and aired in 1998. The video release has some extra topless nudity and gore that wasn't included in the TV version.

Apparently a third of the budget went to special effects and while the effects aren't too bad for this sort of thing, some CGI cityscapes look like something out of a low-grade computer game. Fuzzy blurs around flying futuresport reminds one of the badder Luke Skywalker's hovercraft in Star Wars days. Acting is also bad and Dean Cain isn't likeable as either the jerk superstar before and after his conversion. Can anyone also explain what the hell a star like Wesley Snipes is doing in a piece of junk like this?

RECOMMENDATION: Rent the original Rollerball instead.



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