Malcom D. Lee (The Best Man) brings us “Roll Bounce,” the tale of a group of young black kids coming of age in 1978, when apparently roller disco was all the rage. Starring Bow Wow (Like Mike), this movie is heartwarming and sweet, albeit a little disjointed.
Bow Wow stars as Xavier, aka “X”, a young kid in Chicago. He spends his summer days at the local roller rink, but has to venture into new territory when that same neighborhood rink is closed down. He and his Southside crew must go to “Sweetwater’s” if they want to skate: a rink located in a more affluent part of town. All of this is relatively insignificant. The point is: Bow Wow skates, faces off against the local playboy, romances Meagan Good, and comes to grips with the recent death of his mother. This movie is charming and cute. It’s also cool to catch the 70s vibe, which I completely dig. My one complaint: some of the movie just comes across as shoddy. Some of the dialogue sounds forced and totally out of place. I’m going to venture a guess that 70’s youth didn’t use slang like “trippin’,” nor did they refer to their area as “the hood.” These colloquialisms are strictly 1990s at the earliest. Little missteps like this detract from the overall authenticity of the movie, which is a shame. The story also leaves a lot to be desired: it’s rather corny. I’m not gonna beat this move up too badly, because all in all it’s a cute little movie. I just wish it could have been more true to the era in which it took place.