Review of Rollerball
Stop me if this seems familiar: The year is 2018 (from a 1970s perspective, of course) and corporations have replaced governments on a global scale. Rollerball is a global spectator sport, part roller derby, part basketball or hockey, and all mayhem. In the movie, stereotypes abound. Houston, the reigning champion, represents "energy" (Enron, anyone?) and their team is populated with bare-fisted, Texas manly-men. The team (and supporters) from Tokyo, display a single-minded, unified front so typical of the Japanese society at-large. And so on. At the center of all of this is Jonathan E - hero and global star of the Houston team. But, as John Houseman's character Bartholomew coldly states, the game is designed to weed out the individual and promote existence for the good of the corporations. Jonathan E. is good at what he does and enjoys the societal perks of his stardom. But he's an individual,...and he has questions. Now, he needs to retire, or be retired. The game's rules will change, and change again, until the corporations succeed. Or will Jonathan E. ?