The film

John McTiernan's remake of the seventies classic "Rollerball" flopped both commercially and critically. It's initial release was heavily delayed, when it needed recutting because of bad reception at the sneak previews screenings.

The story involves a violent sport, being exploited by a TV network. The cast includes Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. The film has been slain in every review ever written, and reportedly suffers from very heavy editing of the action scenes. Go and see it yourself, if you want to know any more.

The music


The soundtrack however is the first after a series of Serra releases that is finally almost exclusively Serra's own work. There are 4 non Serra tracks in between but they never really spoil the mood, so this album is more likely to please the typical Serra fan.

The work resembles some of Serra's earlier work, but with a bigger focus on pumped up action sequences. The arrangements flirt with both fast techno as well as heavy guitar rock, with plenty of ethnic and even symphonic influences.

The album opens with the energetic and driven "Eghnev", at first resembling good old fashioned distorted guitar rock with some organ riffs, but shortly after accompanied by edited drum loops and some genuine drumming, to up the gear to some fast driving action.. A genre that is regularly revisited throughout the album. But always sweetened with a few comfortably recognizable Eric Serra sounds and touches.

Actually, Serra has explained in an interview that the music was originally going to be a lot more ethnic, with Middle East styled music and instruments. He had bought some Arabic instruments and planned to go to New York to record his score there. He was scheduled to arrive there on September 12, and obviously never got there, because on September 11 the terrorist attacks happened in New York and Washington. Then the producers decided that in the wake of this changed climate it would be not possible to use too many Middle Eastern styles in the score, and Serra had to "rethink" his plans. He build a small studio in New York and created this score in a very short time span, and being limited in the possibilities to use an orchestra in his recordings he used a lot of samples and sample loops.

It would have been interesting to hear the originally conceived Arabic styled score, especially since the Arabic influenced tracks that did make it to the CD are absolutely jewels. But the final result, on CD at least, is also very interesting, showing more edge and balls then ever before, with enough variation to remain interesting. It may not be destined to be a best seller, but there are many reasons to fondly remember this album, and to those who don't mind the edge and balls is definitely a release to be labeled "back to form".

Released in 2002
Virgin . . . 07243 81216125
 01. Eghnev                         2:49
 02. Letzgo                         3:27
 03. Body Go (Hardknox)             3:50 *
 04. Kornovol                       0:56
 05. Kwinsky                        3:45
 06. Orora                          2:00
 07. Serokin                        3:03
 08. Koshmor                        1:43
 09. It's a Showtime (Rappagarlya)  4:16 *
 10. Blootim                        2:25
 11. I Am Hated (Slipknot)          2:37 *
 12. Shreflov                       2:12
 13. Reitnov                        6:50
 14. Oportu                         3:14
 15. Baroof                         6:06
 16. Enoff                          4:06
 17. Panchoff                       2:00
 18. Ride (Beautiful Creatures)     3:08 *
* = Not by Eric Serra



No real singles have been found for this album so far, but a German press kit for the movie includes a CD with Serra's "Eghnev" track, along with Slipknot's soundtrack submission and interviews with actors in the movie. Plus movie dialogue excerpts from the German dub. Label: EMA, not catalogue number.