Set in a bleak future where the powers-that-be throws lavish and violent television
entertainment to keep the masses happy and docile (so what else has changed?).
The TV entertainment in question is a mixture between Wrestle Mania and Battle
of Gladiators. For keeps, of course.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a soldier who has fallen into disfavour
after resisting orders to fire on unarmed protestors and is thrown in the midst
of this arena to survive. Satiric points (which one has to really dig deep for
- it isn't that intelligent a movie) aside, this film based on a short story by
Richard Bachman (i.e., Stephen King) offers nothing new. It has already
been done: most notably in Rollerball (1975) and countless comic books. Worse,
the movie lacks any real tension and seems to be a host of fight scenes hastily
Review by James O'Ehley from The
Sci-Fi Movie Page.