Futuresport (1998)

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Hoverboards, body armour and bone-cracking collisions; the world of Futuresport must be exciting, right? Wrong, so very wrong.

Set in the near future, 2025 to be precise, Futuresport presents a semi-dystopian world in which the world is separated in to two factions who seem to be at odds over the ownership of Hawaii.  After rising from the ghettos superstar athlete, Tre Ramzey ( played with expected depth by SUPERMAN! Dean Cain) finds himself able to quell a terrorist uprising and bring peace using Futuresport, the game that has given him so much.

This one-off match of immense consequence means Ramzey must put aside his rivalry with up and coming star Blake Becker (Adrian G. Griffiths) and reunite with ex-lover and journalist Alex Torres (Vanessa Williams) in order to face a team that includes some of his former team-mates. All of this to stop the terrorist threat of the Hawaiian Liberation organisation.

The film falls down from the very beginning. An overly long set of opening sequences that try to establish some back story are poorly edited together and just when the film looks to be finding some sort of rhythm the opening credits roll and remind you how poorly it has been put together thus far.

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The production values are pretty good despite the obvious pacing problems, the acting is good enough to get through to the end but the script is sky splittingly stupid. There is no attempt to explain while the world is split into an essentially east vs west battle. No real explanation is given as to why the HLO are acting to free Hawaii and at no point do any government officials endorse Ramzey’s bid to give up Hawaii should his team lose the Futuresport match.

The action sequences during the matches themselves are a disappointment. What could have been bruising sequences of battling warriors ends up as occasional scuffles with extremely repetitive shots of a metal ball being thrown in to a metal hole from a slightly different angle. A bit like quidditch with hoverboards although that sounds much more entertaining than this film.

Wesley Snipes phones in an appearance as the disgruntled Futuresport creator Obike Fixx. In lieu of actual acting Snipes adopts a shaky Rastafarian accent. As oddly placed as Snipes’ accent are the various attempts at Ideas with a capital ‘I’ that pop up throughout. Popularity is ranked on a global points system, the reverence of superstar athletes, East vs West and rich vs poor. All of these ideas are present but sorely underdeveloped. Just one fully developed idea running through the script would have made for a much more cohesive and lucid script than the bumbling mess that was filmed.

Lightweight, breezy but not entertaining enough, Futuresport isn’t awful but fails to stick in the memory after viewing.

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson

Certificate: 15

Main Cast: Dean Cain, Vanessa Williams, Wesley Snipes.

Extras: None. Not even a basic menu. The film began when the disc was in the machine and ended as soon as the final credits rolled.

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