Oh, Futuresport. Futuresport came to my attention when one of our friends told me that it was the worst movie he had ever seen. Hearing that, and that it starred Dean Cain, Vanessa Williams, and Wesley Snipes (as a pseudo-Jamaican) and that it was about battling terrorists via a made-up sport, I knew I had to see it. Shockingly, Futuresport is not the easiest movie to find. I finally found a copy from a seller on Amazon for $2, and it was finally mine.
Futuresport sets the tone very early on, when within the first 2 minutes of the movie, the boom mic gets in the shot, Would that scene really be that hard to re-shoot? It’s a scene with multiple cameras, and at the time the boom gets in the shot, it’s just two people talking. The fact that it wasn’t re-shot or edited out leads me to believe that either A.) No one noticed because no one cared or B.) Someone noticed but didn’t care enough to do anything to fix it. So that’s always a good start.
Futuresport is about a sport called . . . Futuresport. I honestly had no idea that the sport was actually called this. Why a sport being played in the present would be called Futuresport is beyond me. But anyway, after reporter Alex Torres (Vanessa Williams) does a news story on a little-known back alley sport played by washed-up basketball player Tre Ramzey (TRE RAMZEY), the sport explodes in popularity and 10 years later is, apparently, the biggest, most popular sport in the world. We all know what an impact news journalism has on worldwide interest in sports, so it makes sense.
Futuresport itself is both complex and simple; players ride around on hoverboard things while trying to throw a ball into a goal. After holding the ball for five seconds, the ball becomes electrified. That’s about it. It’s supposedly a brutal bloodsport, but everyone who plays it is really good. The goal is impossibly small (it barely looks bigger than the ball), but literally no one ever misses . . . except TRE RAMZEY that one time. See, Futuresport opens with the world championship game, which TRE RAMZEY loses for his team because he’s selfish and doesn’t pass the ball in time, and misses. So then everyone hates TRE RAMZEY, including his girlfriend who, I’m sorry, is so horrifying looking it’s distracting. She looks like an even more emaciated, hard-lined version of Anne Heche in the Psycho remake. TRE RAMZEY could do better.
Cut to Alex Torres, whom we find out is TRE RAMZEY’s ex. It’s worth mentioning that even though Vanessa Williams is only 3 years older than Dean Cain, the lighting and makeup made her look around 15 years older than him. She looked so bad the entire movie. And it’s pretty difficult to make Vanessa Williams hard to look at, but leave it to the crew of Futuresport to do just that. So reporter Alex Torres is TRE RAMZEY’s ex-girlfriend, and we also get introduced to Obike Fixx (Wesley Snipes), the dreadlocked, Jamaican-ish creator of Futuresport and old friend of TRE RAMZEY. We also get introduced to Sythe (JR Bourne), who is the terrorist leader with a tattooed face. Sythe leads the Hawaiian Liberation Organization terrorist group, which I could never figure out if it was a group for or against Hawaii. But whatever.
After impressing Alex with his sushi making skills, aka making a burrito, TRE RAMZEY publicly challenges Sythe and his terrorist group to a game of Futuresport; if TRE RAMZEY and his team wins, no one dies. If Sythe wins . . . Hawaii gets taken over? Or something. People die. And everyone goes along with this plan!! It’s miraculous.
I guess I don’t have to tell you what happens. Superman wins. But Futuresport is at the same time, unnecessarily confusing and incredibly dumb, which makes me think there were a lot of hands in the script. The effects are impressively awful; I know it was 1998 but most of the effects look like a Windows 95 screensaver. But the biggest issue is Futuresport itself, in how easy and dumb it is for a game that apparently the entire world (or maybe just Hawaii?) is counting on to stop itself from imploding.
If you can get your hands on Futuresport . . . do it. And cherish it.
AS A BONUS, HERE’S A CLIP I PUT ON YOUTUBE OF ONE OF FUTURESPORT‘S GREATEST SCENES: TRE RAMZEY inspiring his team and making Alex Torres fall deeper in love with him by winking at them and miming a blowjob.
What’s interesting to me about Futuresport is that it was filmed in 1998 and apparently absolutely no one knew anything about sushi on set. Dean Cain attempts to make sushi but does so as if he’s making a foot-long kolache. He has his bamboo sheet, rice and I guess fish but he just piles it all on top the bamboo sheet and just tries to squish it all together? But to be honest, if nothing else, this scene helps audiences truly understand the magic of cinema because in the next shot they are eating perfectly rolled, perfectly sized pieces of sushi and Dean Cain comes off looking good in front of his lady friend. PEGGY HILL’S MOVIE MAGIC.
For movies like Futuresport where society is being controlled by this one entity, in this case Futuresport, it just makes absolutely no sense. In what world would everybody stop having their own interests and all come together for one thing or event. And it’s even harder to understand in this because it’s a really boring sport!!