from Film Forum, 09/29/05
"Rocky on skates." That's how some people are describing Roll Bounce, a film about a talented roller-skater who disco-skates his way to fame in 1978.
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "If you dig movies like Roller Boogie and Xanadu, you'll probably enjoy Roll Bounce … [The movie] has heart, but its sentimental themes of parental loss, family love and believing in yourself are undercut by a formulaic, albeit feel-good, narrative and occasional—and most unnecessary—crassness. Given the recent trend of cynical teen-oriented entertainment, this refreshingly upbeat and relatively wholesome effort is at least a bounce in the right direction."
Tom Neven (Plugged In) says, "Roll Bounce is essentially Rocky on wheels, a coming-of-age story of underdogs bucked up by the power of family and friendship, overcoming a challenge and learning something about themselves along the way. It's too bad, then, that these super-slick '70s sensations have to go and ruin everything by being so preoccupied with sex and exhibiting such a propensity toward profanity."
Mainstream critics find the film off-balance.