As a child of the early 80ís, I did not have the pleasure of being alive when the roller disco craze reached the height of its popularity. As a result, when I heard about Roll Bounce, a film centered on that aspect of 70ís culture I canít say that I was excited by the idea. My lack of enthusiasm increased when I heard Bow Wow was taking the reigns as the filmís protagonist (I know I wasnít the only one who saw Like Mike). But lo and behold, to my complete and utter astonishment, I actually enjoyed this film. Still skeptical? Keep reading and Iíll tell you why.
In this coming of age story, Bow Wow plays X, a young boy on his way to becoming a man, teetering on the edge of middle and low class living. For fun, X and his friends spend their time skating, doing tricks trying to impress the ladies of the neighborhood. When their treasured skating rink on the South side closes its doors indefinitely, the boys must migrate to the only other skating rink in the area, Sweetwater, located within the hated North side.
The loyal patrons of the North Side rink worship the trick skating ďGodĒ known only as Sweetness (Wesley Jonathan). Sweetness and his clan of cocky trick skaters give X and his buddies a hard time, creating the films central conflict. Itís now up to X to lead his friends against Sweetness and his gang in a team skating competition for five hundred dollars and the right to call themselves the best.
Now, Iíll admit the storyline may not sound that exciting, but bare with me. The movie combines a nice blend of comedy along with some impressive skating moves. Anything from triple axles to flips to break dancing is done in this film. And itís all done on roller skates. The comedy aspect is mainly comprised of X and his friends trading insults and getting themselves mixed up in some oddly funny situations. Xís father, played by Chi McBride, and Charlie Murphy and Mike Epps, the neighborhoods surly waste removal experts or garbage men, added some laugh out loud humor that helped the film along its journey.
Then you have the beautiful Naomi (Meagan Good) who plays Xís romantic interest throughout the film. When X first lays eyes on her she is sipping an ice cold can of product placement, a.k.a. a can of Pepsi. Naomi is in constant pursuit of Xís favor, allowing for many situations in which X makes a fool