Roll Bounce (2005)
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|Movie Review by Tony |
April 7th, 2006
Okay. For some reason the film "Roll Bounce" kept sticking out at me like a sour thumb every time I would go to my local video store. This occurred for about the past month. Finally, I caved in and decided to get it. A confession. I hate roller skating. I went roller skating once, and got dumped promptly the next day by my then girlfriend. I consider it god telling me, roller skating is not for me. Another confession, I find Bow Wow as he is called now extremely annoying. I also hate Nick Cannon after stomaching Underclassmen in the summer of 2005. I also can't stand black people. Just kidding.
Onto the review. This film is set in 1978 when disco and Afros were in. A local group of kids spend a good portion of their time roller skating to hip and fly tunes. Their local roller rink unfortunately gets shut down after 25 years and they are left without their favorite past time and hobby. They finally decide to do the unthinkable and go to a rival rink 25 miles away from their home base and master their craft there.
The only real character we get any sort of back-story for us Bow Wow, who is surprisingly a very improved and good actor in this film. He lives with his emotionally closed and distant father played by Chi McBride. They are both dealing in their own unique ways with the death of Bow Wow's mother and McBride's wife. We get a lot of powerful moments with McBride and Bow Wow, which almost feels as if it was from a different movie compared to the fancy free pace of the rest of the film.
The rest of the characters exist solely to skate, crack one-liners, and look at hot babes on skates and go "daynum girl" as their eyes pop out of the socket. We get a brace face neighbor named Tori, who really only exists to be made fun of often for her braces. She becomes friends with Bow Wow and helps him deal with his on and off again feelings for Naomi ( Meagan Good), who used to be an ugly duckling, but turns out to be a hot momma now.
The film basically has two stories it deals with. It deals with the kids at the roller rink practicing and leading up to the dance off challenge for 500 dollars. And we also get taken into the household and seeing the domestic problems between Bow Wow and his father as they cope with the death and try to relate to each other. The emotional moments are well done, the skating scenes were fun for what they were.
This film runs at almost 2 hours which is a little long for this type of free and fun film. I would have been happy with a 90 minute fun little romp with skating, and comedy. Do your stuff, get out, leave us smiling, and go home happy. I really see no need to spend this much time on skating if you are not going to give more people besides Bow Wow back-stories. To be honest, a little skating goes a long way for me.
But despite all those reservations with the film. The film does have good emotional moments, it has some comedy, it's got a heart and some sweetness and charm, so I give it a slight recommendation. I only wish it was shorter, more back-stories on people besides Bow Wow, and got in and got out. The ending was a big long and drawn out.
I wouldn't say to rush out and see "Roll Bounce" by any means. But it's worth a look on rental or if it comes on TV.
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