Roll Bounce is Undercover Brother director Malcolm D. Lee and Beauty Shop writer Norman Vance Jr's 'love letter' to the roller disco days of the 1970s. As a fan of their previous comedy efforts ' authentically funny films aimed squarely at the oft-neglected African-American sector of the US audience ' my hopes were high' Lee likes to call this paeon to the 70s 'a coming of age drama on wheels'. Rap star Bow Wow (Like Mike) plays Xavier, a teenager from South Chicago who would rather skate than walk. When his favourite rink closes down 'X' and his mates are forced to travel to the snooty 'Northside' to get satisfaction. The inevitable skate off between rich/poor rival teams follows, as do girl troubles for X and a family reconciliation between X and his father Curtis (Narc's amazing Chi McBride), both struggling to come to terms with his mother's death. I was hoping for 'Solid Gold On Wheels' (or for that matter 'Soul Train On Skates'). Instead what I got was a live version of Fat Albert, and we've already had one of those this year. While it had its heart in the right place, it was, well, pretty bad. Really bad actually' Similarly, while Roll Bounce is a sweet movie it's not a great effort - Fat Albert referencing the grating overacting style Lee requested of the actors, and the film's many misplaced serious moments (they come on like a sermon from the mount ' ie Bill Cosby on his awful 80s sitcom The Cosby Show). Usually the formula of 'sweet + extreme comedy + moral framework for living your life' works well in these contemporary urban 'folk' comedies (see aforementioned Beauty Shop, the Friday series of movies and 70s pastiche Undercover Brother). While the boogie-down skate-off sequences were fun (though uninspired), Roll Bounce simply didn't have the great jokes that made the other films so entertaining. (Nor a very good story). It was trying for farce but ended up farcical. (At times it was so frustrating to watch I wished Roll Bounce would transform into an episode of Roller Derby so things would liven up). What it did have however was a great 70s disco/funk music soundtrack, which is bound to make more money than the film. A shame as it was a great idea. Bring it on - next time.