Future Sport [DVD]

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Shades of Rollerball! Director Ernest Dickerson and executive producer Wesley Snipes ponder the sport of the future and come up with… “Futuresport”, a combination of handball, ice hockey, and skateboard hot-dogging begun as an inner-city alternative to gang warfare and transformed into a glitzy media sensation. Dean Cain stars as the reigning Futuresport hero, a cocky glory hound who counts his cash and “popularity index” ratings with a smug grin until his narcissism costs him the championship game. As a ruthless terrorist group pushes the world to the brink of war, the suddenly altruistic Cain hatches a plan to bring Futuresport back to its roots. With the help of reporter (and former flame) Vanessa Williams and the game’s creator (a rastah-inflected Snipes, who gives himself the film’s best role), Cain proposes a winner-take-all game to settle the territorial dispute. Beefy former TV “Superman” Cain makes a better reformed hero than a snotty superstar and looks great in the game scenes, but Snipes steals the film with his funky turn as the inner-city guru with more on his mind than the game. Dickerson gives this TV film a handsome look and even injects a little grit into the otherwise bland screenplay, but apart from the zippy game scenes (which Dickerson films with an electrified energy), it’s a familiar and rather flat bit of science fiction hokum. –Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com