Thursday, 27 March 2008
FUTURE SPORT (1998)
Directed by: Ernest Dickerson
Screenplay: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Starring: Dean Cain, Vanessa Williams & Wesley Snipes
A ridiculously trashy but very slick and often fun futuristic flick, Future Sport is a combination of sports, sci-fi and action all rolled into one glossy package. Providing some decent action thrills, a couple of ball busting combat sports sequences and a hilariously over-the-top performance from a “Special Guest Appearance” Wesley Snipes, Future Sport is a fast and fun redo of cult classic, Rollerball, with added nineties CGI. It’s 2025 and Tre Ramzey (Cain) is the star player of the LA Rush, the premiere team of Future Sport. A combination of rollerblading, hover boarding and shot put, the sport sees two teams facing off in full contact bouts of extreme game play. Tre is the typical arrogant, flashy player who is taken down a peg or two when he discovers he is not as valuable as he first thought and comes to realize he can use Future Sport as a way of diffusing a revolution. Of course, some well armed terrorists and a few dodgy corporate types have other ideas.
To be honest the plot of Future Sport is by the by (and has escaped my memory since viewing), something about some kind of Pan Pacific Allegiance and government overthrow. What really matters are the cool scenes of extreme sports combat and a few decent action scenes. The sports scenes are genuinely well filmed and often thrillingly staged, only occasionally hampered by the odd dodgy hover board special effect. A couple of decent action scenes are thrown in as well, when the sports dudes decide to take up their boards and balls against the machine gun totting terrorists. Cain and Snipes bust a few moves, while the former shows he has the acting to be in bigger and better films. His scenes with Vanessa Williams (Eraser) have a nice chemistry and make us care for the characters in amongst all the hover boarding and shooting. Snipes on the other hand adopts an over the top Jamaican persona, complete with dreadlocks, and spends most of the film ending each sentence with a completely random wailing noise.
For a TV movie, Future Sport sure looks slick and director Ernest Dickerson (who made the great and underrated, Surviving the Game) keeps things crisp and the action never too far away. The effects and production values aren’t too bad and there is even a bit of swearing and nudity, which is surprising considering the movie’s TV roots. A decent movie that’s good with a six pack and should suffice action and sports fans a like. It’s even better than the official 2002 remake of Rollerball.