11th Aug2021

‘Roller Squad’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Alice Sanders, Benjamin McMahon, Amy Newton, David Wayman, Elizabeth McNally, Julian London, Alexander Nicolaou | Written and Directed by Berty Cadilhac

Making movies is not an easy game… Making a movie on little to no budget is even harder. In my time as a reviewer and podcaster I have spoken to countless industry folks about their upcoming project, only for it to never actually see the light of day. Which is why when I come across a super-low budget Brit indie film I get excited to see that another one got made. Which means I am always so willing to at least try the film in an effort to put some respect on it.

Sometimes my willingness to do this yields very positive results when I discover a real gem. Other times… Well I rarely review the ones at the opposite end but there are definitely a few duds. This time around I was asked to check out Roller Squad, a movie made during lockdown last year (or when we were just coming out of it) using the somewhat empty, eerie, streets of London as its setting. Which, as it, goes lends a pretty cool atmospheric tone to the movie. And the film promised a roller-blading serial killer; and let’s be honest who the hell wouldn’t get excited at that prospect!

Roller Squad sees a roller-blading psycho killer stalking the streets of London – killing other rollerbladers – and the police don’t seem to care too much about catching him. When one of their mates is killed, Kat, Hugh, Sophie and Arthur form an elite “Roller Squad” to hit the streets and bring the man to justice. Monitoring from their makeshift command centre full of outrageous tech, our gang are about to find out that they may just be in a little over their heads…

I am not going to sit here and tell you Roller Squad is superb because, honestly, it’s not. However this cast and crew have used everything they had at their disposal, during a time when people were not making movies, and I have to give them serious credit them for that. Speaking of our cast, let’s deal with them for a moment… Our core cast we spend most of our time with in the “command centre” (actually a flat) are all pretty decent; sure there are a few ropey lines of dialogue but nothing that really hurts anyone’s character or my enjoyment. There’s some good chemistry on show here and I really bought these guys as friends – with special mention to Benjamin McMahon and Alice Sanders both putting in strong performances.

Now let’s talk about the action OUTSIDE of the flat. Honestly, I was actually sold on the concept of a roller-blading psycho being chased through London. I used to love skating through my home town with my mates like the Mighty Ducks or Hackers(!) Sadly though this is more like Supergran on roller blades. No sorry that’s not fair, there are some good moments of action but they seem to go on forever and due to some odd editing choices, one minute they are right beside the killer and the next they are miles behind. Then there is the roller blade fight in the skate park – where the two guys seem to be dancing around each other, every now and then tapping feet against each other… I don’t know, it just took a lot of the excitement out of proceedings. Then there’s the culmination of this chase when, after what feels like a good 20 minutes, our dance kick fighting blade hero catches up to the killer, the killer pulls a knife and our would-be hero gingerly turns back and may as well say “Nah you’re alright mate, I’m good” before skating away.

All in all Roller Squad is a decent little flick. Made on what I suspect was a relatively small budget in some fairly weird times. The story is pretty good, even if some of the dialogue isn’t. The city looks gorgeous thanks to some nifty cinematography and there are some pretty good comedy spots. I think director Berty Cadilhac has done a great job with Roller Squad and while I don’t know if it’s going to set your world on fire I definitely think you could watch a hell of a lot worse (see World Cup Heist on Amazon Prime for proof of this).

I was going to give this one 2.5/5 due to the action sequences feeling like somewhat of letdown at times but when I think back there were some pretty good action shots and I was entertained, so I am going to knock it up to a…

*** 3/5

Roller Squad is available on Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play now.

Off

Comments are closed.