Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
San Jose Mercury News:
Not so much a redo of the 1975 sci-fi allegory of the same title as a denial of everything that made that film timely and interesting.
Detroit Free Press:
Composed almost entirely of smash cuts and camera gimmickry, it makes most rock videos look like Ingmar Bergman dramas.
Dreadful acting, confusing action cinematography, choppy editing and embarrassing dialogue, with the added bonus of a plot almost as dumb as that of the original film.
New York Times:
McTiernan's remake may be lighter on its feet -- the sober-minded original was as graceful as a tap-dancing rhino -- but it is just as boring and as obvious.
With this new Rollerball, sense and sensibility have been overrun by what can only be characterized as robotic sentiment.
Loud, crude and outlandish, Rollerball is a parody of itself, a frenzy of extreme-sports stunts masquerading as social commentary on violence and the corporate forces that feed off it.
Only those attracted to Waterworld- or Last Action Hero-level big-budget disasters need bother with this one.
Los Angeles Times:
Derailed by bad writing and possibly also by some of that extensive post-production reworking to aim the film at young males in the throes of their first full flush of testosterone.
Successfully creates for the viewer the feeling of being trapped inside a video arcade going at full tilt, a thrilling prospect for 14-year-old boys, no doubt, though it's hard to imagine anyone else enjoying it.
The new version just makes you feel like you've been watching a lame late-night rerun while stuck in a thunderdome.
Globe and Mail:
Despite the technical advances of the past quarter century, the game sequences are as goofy as the first go-round.
Pushes the Hollywood action movie to stratospheric new levels of incoherence.
It's dull, spiritless, silly and monotonous: an ultra-loud blast of pointless mayhem, going nowhere fast.
Like a gerbil exercising in a wheel, this movie spins and spins, generating a lot of action and noise, but getting absolutely nowhere.
John McTiernan's botched remake may be subtler than Norman Jewison's 1975 ultraviolent futuristic corporate-sports saga. It's also stupider.
Rollerball looks like a checklist shaped by a 15-year-old mallrat: thrashing metal track, skateboards, motorbikes, cracked heads and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos with her top off.
Missing a few key elements: a script, a reason for being and maybe a few Britney Spears ads strategically placed throughout to break up 98 minutes of solid tedium.
Although Norman Jewison's stolidly grim and ultimately ludicrous 1975 original was hardly a landmark of nightmarish sci-fi, it towers over this.
It's almost enough to make Burton's Apes retread seem like a work of artistic ingenuity.