The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

FUTURESPORT (1998) ***

Futuresport is kinda like Rollerball, except instead of players riding around on roller skates beating the crap out of each other, they ride on Back to the Future 2 style hoverboards. (Hey, it is FUTUREsport after all). In the future, it is the biggest game in America. (What, were you expecting Presentball or Pastsport?) Hawaii is in a state of revolution and a terrorist cell launches an attack against Futuresport’s hottest player, Tre Ramzey (even in the future nobody knows how to spell their name). He survives the assault and challenges the terrorists to a game of Futuresport as an alternative to war.

Futuresport sounds pretty bad on paper, but the execution behind and in front of the camera saves it. I should’ve known this flick was going to be pretty good because it was directed by my man Ernest Dickerson, the esteemed filmmaker that gave the world Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight. He does a good job on the Futuresport sequences and keeps the dialogue scenes popping along at a steady clip. While some of the film’s attempts to be “futuristic” are kinda hokey (like the people with Hellraiser 3-inspired cameras stuck in their faces), for the most part, it’s nothing too incredibly cheesy.

You might remember this premiering on regular TV. But just because it was a Made for TV movie doesn’t mean it doesn’t know how to kick some ass. And besides, the DVD version inserts some F-Bombs and even a bit of T & A in there, so it’s all good.

Futuresport is a bit better than you’d expect it to be at just about every turn. That’s mostly because the cast is top notch. Dean Cain gives a believable performance as a self-centered jerk who learns the error of his ways and starts playing the game for all the right reasons. Sure, you’ve seen this character arc dozens of times before, but Cain sells it for all it’s worth. Cain is especially good in his scenes with Vanessa L. Williams (looking positively yummy), as his romantic scenes with her actually don’t interfere with the main plot.

The movie really belongs to Wesley Snipes. It’s a testament to Snipes’ acting ability that he plays the role while sporting cheesy looking dreadlocks AND a lame Jamaican accent and STILL manages to kick ass. And don’t let that “Special Guest Appearance” bullshit fool you. Usually when you see that shit in a TV movie, it means the Special Guest Star will only appear in the movie for five… ten minutes tops. But Wesley has a major supporting role, and even his character is rather well-developed.

Seriously, how can you go wrong when Blade and Superman get together?

Special Note: I was linking my review to IMDB when I learned that Futuresport producer (and Death Wish 3 co-star) Deborah Raffin passed away today. My thoughts go out to her family.

Tags: action, f, sci-fi, tv
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