The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The Worst, Most Despicable Movies: “Roll Bounce”

Two years ago, at Christmas, I was doing some shopping and this and that and doodlydoo, and I was at Best Buy when my girlfriend called me. For whatever reason she said that she still had one movie to get for her step-sister. I am a nice guy/totally sweet boyfriend/auto mechanic/power forward so I said, “Hey! Wait! I’m at Best Buy right now! I’ll just pick up that movie for your step-sister, and I’ll save you the trip. (This next part is in slow-motion) WHAT MOVIE IS IT?”

She laughed for a solid minute and said, “(This part is also in slow-motion) ROLL BOUNCE.”

I dropped my phone to the ground and it shattered into a thousand horrifying pieces.

The point is: Roll Bounce is a completely ridiculous movie! AND I HAD TO PURCHASE IT! I was the one who had to sheepishly approach the counter with my utterly foolish teen flick, and still pretend that I’m a respectable adult that makes actual decisions and pays rent. It wasn’t easy.

Story continues below advertisement

This is when I decided that Roll Bounce is awful and the worst…
And then I watched it.

Now, on the cover, Roll Bounce looks just like a movie about rollerskating in the ’70s starring Bow Wow. But as you delve into its funk-flashed, groove-tinged 111 minutes, you begin to realize that it’s a movie about rollerskating in the ’70s starring Bow Wow.

The movie opens in a roller rink (shock #1) where easily 200 people are rollerskating. Granted, my only rollerskating experience is going to a skating place for a few middle school incentive-to-do-better field trips, but that seems like A LOT OF PEOPLE.

OK, so among these 200 people is Bow Wow and his rollercrew. They’re really cool teens in the ’70s, and they’re just like you and me. They rag on each other, they make fun of each other’s sometimes-blended race and they slap some total rando girl’s butt on the rink. Teen stuff!

Anyway, we find out (pretty quickly) that this is the last day the rink is gonna be open! They didn’t waste any time for any of that new-agy “development” everyone “cares” about. It’s just closing, OK?!*

So these kids are pretty bummed and they talk about being bummed through a series (TOO MANY) of unison dialogue quips, until X (Bow Wow) has to get home to his strict dad.

“Yes.” ­— Me
“That seems pretty plain and unrealistic.” — You
“I know. Let’s get root beer floats.” — Me

Now, X and his father have a complicated rollerrelationship. X’s mom just passed away, and they’re both pretty broken up about it. I agree! That wouldn’t be fun at all. But losing his wife turned X’s dad into a real curmudgeon who doesn’t approve of X’s rollerdancing (shock #2). Oh, right! This movie’s about rollerdancing. Fun!

Anyway, the rollergang has to go somewhere else to rollerskate, THE NORTH SIDE. Admittedly, the north side is way nicer, but it’s not home, you know? So they see this mad-rad rollerdancer named (if you can believe it) Sweetness, who’s really good at rollerdancing, but really bad at being a nice guy/friend.

So the kids leave (?) and go back home where they just watch TV and drink Yoohoo all day. Then X’s dad gets home to find the kids’ rollerstuff all over his porch and FREAKS OUT. Everyone leaves and X gets in a huge fight with his dad over his dad not having a job. X is like, “You don’t know about work!” and then his dad is like, “I’m SORRY I don’t know what it’s like to rollerdance all over town and drink Yoohoo until the diabetes sets in, WHAT A HARD LIFE, X. WHAT A HARD LIFE.”**

Then they fight some more about his dad being “over” his mom’s death, which is pretty legitimate until X TAKES A BASEBALL BAT TO HIS DAD’S CAR! WHAT?

See, X thinks that his dad is trying to revive his wife by fixing an old car? So he smashes all the windows and headlights! I can’t wait to have kids!

They have a moment, and then it’s off to ROLLERDANCE FINALS 1978. X and his pals vs. Sweetness and his pals (side note: what am I doing with my life?). Oh, and here’s a treat for the megafans: WAYNE BRADY, baby! I knew this rollerdisaster would pay off. Wayne Brady announces the rollerdance finals. Cool!

Anyway, here’s where the movie takes on a very Transformers-y flavor. Rollerskating scenes is to Roll Bounce as Robot fights are to Transformers ( I don’t know if you guys remember, but back in 2007 they made a movie called Transformers about cars that turn into fighting robots and they just fight each other for like a straight 45 minutes at the end of the movie.)


“I’ve made this frozen pizza and eaten it in the time it took for all of these rollerskating scenes to play out.” – You, potentially

Yikes. Anyway, Sweetness wins, but X really wins, because even though he falls doing a dumb rollertrick, he knows the power of true rollerfriendship (shock #3 (did M. Night Shyamalan direct this?)).

Three things quick:
1. HOW OLD IS BOW WOW IN THIS MOVIE? Old enough to make crude male genitalia jokes, but young enough to still refer to poop as “number 2” and call girls “yuckmouths.”

2. “Chocolate City, Chocolate City! That must be jelly, ‘cause jam don’t shake like that.” — Real quote

3. Also, Nick Cannon is on the cover, and he’s in the movie for 5 seconds as the gross, greasy skate rental guy. Fun seeing him though!
If I had to sum this movie up in one word, I guess it would be rollertragecalamatastrophe.

I give it 5 out of 5 Grp’s

*OK, if TWO HUNDRED people show up to your crappy roller rink and if people are THIS passionate about rollerdancing, you’re FINE.
**Disappointingly fake dialogue that I made up.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Worst, Most Despicable Movies: “Roll Bounce”