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  • Demolition Man (1993) is one of the best epic classic science fiction/action film of all time! AN ALL TIME CLASSIC, has it all, explosions, practical effects, one liners, 80s songfests, soundtracks. It is one of my personal favorite movies. I love this film to death it is Stallone-Snipes futuristic science fiction action flick of the 90's. They don't make like this anymore.

    Demolition Man is my favorite best Stallone Sci-fi, action movie, very awesome alongside with Rambo films. Demolition Man is one of the funniest, most action-packed and most poignant social satires of at least the last 22 years. It's not necessarily the easiest film to appreciate, as it makes its points through extremely over-the-top "mindless" action and tongue-in-cheek, purposefully cheesy plot and dialogue, but it's well worth trying to acclimate oneself to the style if you're not an action or sci-fi fan, as the satire cuts deep. There are other films with somewhat similar aims, such as Total Recall (1990) and Starship Troopers (1997), which are perhaps just as good as Demolition Man, but they certainly can't top it, and they have aims other than the purely satirical. As a social commentary, it's extraordinarily on-target. I mean, come on, this is the movie where the joke was made that Schwarzenegger would be president and Taco Bell would win the franchise wars, and what do you know? Now people want the constitution amended so Arnold can run for president and Taco Bell is winning the franchise wars (they merged with Pizza Hut and KFC). One of Stallone's best Sci-fi action packed films. This film is phenomenal!

    Send a maniac to catch a maniac!!!!!!!!

    Sylvester Stallone is a legendary bad-ass cop John Spartan Demolition Man he plays by his own rules and he does what he does best to catch the bad guys. He will blow things up to get the job done and he does in this movie. Demolition Man defies my childhood and I love this movie to death!

    The cast, the script, the story itself all of these elements come together to make this one of the best action movies of the 90s. This movie does have a few surprises and it is not above making fun of itself or the action movie genre (Denis Leary is a wonderful touch!). It is a perfect addition to an action movie night or collection. The movie has humor, a little comedy and pure action that the gunplay is delivered in perfect Stallone-Snipes style - you'll see lots of heavy automatic and explosive weapons, and you'll see them used well. Stallone uses hand guns including a Remington shotgun. The film is absolutely filled with great, classic moments (I counted TEN all-star ones during my last viewing), and they're evenly spaced through the movie. The martial arts are excellent, so are the cryoprision scenes. Terrific special effects and art direction. Marco Brambilla did a great direction debut of directing of one of my all time classic sci-fi action movies!

    This is an action film that actually has a brain in its head and has something to say. The vision of future world here is undeniably original and memorable. What is more admirable is that many of things seen here are happening in REAL world. Demolition Man shows what would happen if the politics will went to far with it.

    Anyway I love this film, I grew up with Demolition Man, beside Cliffhanger is my second best favorite action Stallone movie!!! The rating I am giving is a 10, because the film isn't a 6, but it is a perfect 10. It is a film that is an underrated cult classic movie that I will always enjoy and cherish it to death!!!

    Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla in his directorial debut. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The film was released in the United States on October 8, 1993.

    Demolition Man is a 1993 science-fiction action film starring Sylvester Stallone as John Spartan, a Los Angeles cop with a reputation for destruction who in the then future year of 1996 is found guilty of a crime he didn't commit and is subsequently sentenced to be frozen in a cryogenic prison along with his nemesis Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes). Spartan is then revived in the year 2032 and finds himself in the city of San Angeles when Phoenix escapes. Spartan is then asked by the San Angeles police force to use his old school tactics to take down his archenemy.

    The film's cast also includes Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, and Denis Leary. The film is notable for featuring one of the first and only appearances of the Heckler & Koch G11, an experimental rifle at the time that was portrayed as futuristic magnetic pulse rifle. 10/10 Grade: Bad Ass Seal Of Approval
  • John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) is a reckless Los Angeles policeman, known as the "demolition man" for the destruction he routinely engenders while apprehending big baddies. After a particularly ruthless criminal, Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), sets him up by making it appear that Spartan wantonly caused the deaths of a bus load of hostages, Spartan is sentenced to 60 years or so in prison. The film begins in a not-too-distant future (relative to its 1992/1993 production date) of 1996. Prisons are quite a bit different, and there's a new policy of cryogenically freezing inmates. We cut forward to 2032. Phoenix is up for an obligatory parole hearing when he escapes. The film's 21st Century society is extremely different (worsening cultural chaos, exacerbated by a huge earthquake, precipitated the change), and the "San Angeles" police cannot capture Phoenix or keep him in check. Chief Earle makes a decision to revive Spartan, reasoning that an out of control but effective cop mired in the ways of the late 20th Century may be the only one who can capture the out of control criminal, but he, and the future society, may be in for a lot more than they bargained for by reawakening the Demolition Man.

    Demolition Man is one of the funniest, most action-packed and most poignant social satires of at least the last 30 years. It's not necessarily the easiest film to appreciate, as it makes its points through extremely over-the-top "mindless" action and tongue-in-cheek, purposefully cheesy plot and dialogue, but it's well worth trying to acclimate oneself to the style if you're not an action or sci-fi fan, as the satire cuts deep. There are other films with somewhat similar aims, such as Total Recall (1990) and Starship Troopers (1997), which are perhaps just as good as Demolition Man, but they certainly can't top it, and they have aims other than the purely satirical.

    The opening scene feels like a typical late 1980s/early 1990s action sequence. At least until we realize that there's not going to be a happy ending for the hostages that Spartan is trying to save. Once we arrive at the future, a lot of viewers might misjudge the performances of the principal cast besides Stallone and Snipes. Sandra Bullock, as Lieutenant Lenina Huxley (a reference to Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World), and Benjamin Bratt, as Alfredo Garcia (a reference to Sam Peckinpah's 1974 film, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia), at first seem to be turning in bizarrely incompetent performances. It's only later that we realize they are spot on for the film's "brave new world", which is basically an instantiation of a staunchly moralist cult run by Dr. Raymond Cocteau (a reference to famed director Jean Cocteau combined with Cocteau's friend, novelist Raymond Radiguet).

    Technically, the film is quite impressive. The production design, cinematography, effects, staging of the action sequences, score and soundtrack are excellent. But what sets Demolition Man a cut above the rest are the script and the performances--yes, even from Stallone and Snipes, although Bullock, and especially Denis Leary, in a relatively minor part where he gets to do his motor-mouthed, ranting comedy schtick that made him famous, both threaten to steal the show.

    Director Marco Brambilla (who has remained oddly inactive since Demolition Man, which was his first film) and his writing "team" skewer a lot of cultural norms as relatively arbitrary conventions. Radio and television commercial jingles are considered the pinnacle of musical art in the film's world. Strict morality is enforced through constant computer monitoring of behavior combined with fines--a running joke throughout the film is that profanity results in fines. Meat and alcohol have been outlawed. So has physical contact, including sex. All restaurants are now Taco Bells (in some cuts of the film intended for foreign markets, this was changed to Pizza Hut instead). There is an underground, outside of the cultic mainstream society, but they're literally underground, living relatively lawless (well, at least they eat meat and drink beers) in tunnels strewn with utility pipes.

    As a result, serious crime is a thing of the past, swept under the rug (or into the sewers) and labeled with Orwellian newspeak. Phoenix and Spartan's reintroduction of violence and mayhem, including "murder/death/kill", results in a reawakening of cultural freedom, analogous to their own thawing out. The anti-utopian, anti-utilitarian political message, like that of Orwell's 1984 and later films influenced by the same, such as Equilibrium (2002), couldn't be clearer. And the message can be extended to situations that are not political. I didn't use "cult" above carelessly. The idea is that the society's warts are necessary for individual authenticity. Yes, things can run smoother under a dictatorship, but who wants to live under a dictatorship, even a supposedly "benevolent" one?
  • This is one of those films that it is popular to think is rubbish. I'm not quite sure why. Don't take it seriously and it's a fun ride.

    Wesley Snipes and Sly Stallone play off each other well as the forces of bad and good -- old foes that have come out of chryo-generic storage hundreds of years into the future.

    Sandra Bullock as the nostalgia [for Stallone's time, naturally] struck cop isn't even rubbish and annoying -- a first time for everything!

    Watch out for a fun performance by Nigel Hawthorne also.
  • This movie features Sly Stallone at his muscle bound, destructive best. Around the same time he did the excellent Cliffhanger he also did this nifty action flick. What you get with Demolition man is an entertaining and satirical look at the future of Los Angeles where people walk about in robes and are a peace loving society. Anything remotely bad for you, including spicy foods, is illegal and the whole new system is run by Raymond Cochtoe played by the late Nigal Hawthorne. The opening action scene is set in the present day and is a rip roaring sequence with Stallone polishing off bad guys with stylish flair, before he has a face off with the show stealer Wesley Snipes. Snipes plays the baddest of bad guys Simon Phoenix and does so excellently. The films pacing is good and in particular there are three big action sequences that shine, these are the opening and the end as well as a very good action scene set in a museum. The comedy factor is high in this film and the film certainly has tongue fastened firmly in cheek. The two leads are very good and in particular Snipes revels in his nasty role. Sandra Bullock is good as the gratuitous attractive lady you get in practically all action films. All in all this is a great way to spend 90 or so minutes and is certainly how I would like to remember Sly Stallone, in his action prime. 9/10
  • Sgt. John Spartan (Stallone) is a tough cop for a tough age and Simon Pheonix (Snipes) is a nasty and violent criminal. When Stallone finally catches his man, he is found guilty of killing a group of innocent civilians at the same time; and they are both given sentences in the new cryo-prison. When Simon Pheonix escapes into a new world in the year 2032, the police have no way of dealing with such a vicious arch-criminal so they re-animate John Sparton, and so it begins.

    I simply love the way the future is portrayed in this film, it is a wonderfully satirical crime free environment where the humans have become ultra-placid geeks under the new regime. Sandra Bullock and Nigel Hawthorne are the two main police-persons that we see and they are brilliantly funny in their performances.

    Demolition man is as funny as it is action packed and although it's pretty shallow, it is still great fun to watch.

  • I thought it was one of the greatest movies of all time. As a social commentary, it's extraordinarily on-target. I mean, come on, this is the movie where the joke was made that Schwarzenegger would be president and Taco Bell would win the franchise wars, and what do you know? Now people want the constitution amended so Arnold can run for president and Taco Bell is winning the franchise wars (they merged with Pizza Hut and KFC).

    The story parallels Brave New World and there are numerous references to it. It's the best "Big Brother" film to ever be made. It's got great laughs, great action, and just great stuff. The basic plot is pretty mediocre when you get right down to it, but when you factor in all the detail and the very well-thought script, it's a must-see movie. It's like the anti-movie, it's great, but nobody likes it, apparently.
  • This film is phenomenal! Funny, action packed and in some ways has almost proved prophetic (check reference to Arnie Presidential library, a terrifying possibility which is looking almost possible!! Bear in mind that this movie was made well before Arnie was heavily involved in politics)! Wesley Snipes is at his hottest in this movie as the evil Simon Phoenix and Stallone is amazing as the "troubled past gunslinger" Spartan. When you factor in a cute and funny Sandra Bullock and Nigel Hawthorne as a fascist dictator, it is hard to see how this movie could have been any better. Also the vision of the future provided is both insightful and believable. Ending is a bit corny and "hollywood" but really I think that such a minor flaw is balanced out by the sheer entertainment value of the rest of the film. A brilliant Sci-Fi, much overlooked.
  • Sylvester Stallone was really beside himself when he took this film. Instead of trying to be the tough guy, he sort of made fun of his pre-existing persona in his role as John Spartan. Funny, and satirical of a gun-free society, it just proves that peace doesn't necessarily result in the most diverse range of self expression. The humor in the film was exceptional, and Wesley Snipes was great as Simon Phoenix. This also proved to be my favorite film with Sandra Bullock, who subsequently destroyed her career thereafter. This movie will always be good for a laugh, especially for the characters singing all of the commercial jingles.
  • I first saw this movie in the theater when it came out in 93 and loved it. The cool futuristic toys and Stallone and Sandra Bullock make a great on-screen couple. Snipes delivers as the bad guy, and Stallone is the cop who is frozen but thawed out 36 years later to stop him once again. Plenty of one-liners and action.
  • bat-527 November 1999
    Demolition Man is just good, goofy fun. You plop yourself down when nothing else is on and watch Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes blow up everything around them. Snipes plays Simon Phoenix over the top and that's exactly where he's supposed to be. Stallone has some good lines in this film, and he's actually a funny guy when he plays things straight. Of course, no action film would be complete without the prerequisite snappy one liners, outlandish action and bullets flying everywhere. A silly, but fun film to watch.
  • PWNYCNY24 September 2007
    Comment #1

    Is this movie classified as a comedy? Because if it's not, it should be. Not only is this movie a sci-fi thriller, this movie contains some great lines, most of which are said by Sandra Bullock and Wesley Snipes, who gives one of the great performances in the sci-fi genre. Simon Phoenix is an incredible character and Mr. Snipes performs the role to near perfection. This movie is not merely another sci-fi special effects potboiler, rather it actually contains an interesting and engaging story with lots of action and humor which makes for an entertaining movie. And don't forget to be on the lookout for Associate Bob who is the ultimate brown-nosing, a--kissing flunky. Although AB is a fictional character, once you see him in the movie you will immediately recognize him because in life who hasn't ever come across an Associate Bob?

    Comment #2

    It's not about John Spartan. It's not about Simon Phoenix. It's not about Lenina Huxley. It's about the character Associate Bob. Yes, this movie is about how a man is able to survive during times of change by bending in whatever direction the wind is blowing. Spartan and Phoenix are literally demolishing a city as they renew their struggle after thirty years of being frozen in a huge refrigerator-like machine and then being defrosted to fight each other another day, Spartan on the side of the "good guys" and Phoenix as the tool of a megalomaniac who wants to create a new society. And while all this is happening, Associate Bob - fat, greasy, effete, with a pompadour that never gets ruffled - offers his services to whom ever may be winning - and never gets rejected. Is there some kind of message here? Maybe. Is this the movie's way of telling us how to survive in an ever changing society?
  • This has got to be one of the funniest action adventure films ever released. And the beauty of it all is the seriousness with which the actors play their roles. Stallone and Snipes are two 20th century macho types in an Orwellian society where everything is monitored and the police are almost superfluous. Bullock is a radical thinker bored with her perfect society, and Leary is just trying to keep people alive...the people who decided they didn't want to be part of the Perfect society. Now it is worth remembering this film was one of the first shameless product promotion films, with Taco Bell being featured in the film as the only restaurant to survive the Franchise wars, whatever those were. I would classify it as a "pre-comic" movie, with all the trimmings...bad guys and good guys, technological oddities, and a lot of great lines. Worth seeing, PG-13 because of a few lines here and there and a couple of brief shots of nudity. Collectible if you like Stallone, otherwise rent it and return it.
  • Demolition Man is a movie that I love, but some others seem to have mixed feelings about. The main complaint I've seen is that people ask whether this is comedy or action. It is both. I think it is the perfect blend of action and comedy. You get great action, funny one-liners, more action, and more jokes. The comedy doesn't outweigh the action, and to me that is good. Its not impossible to have 2 genres in a movie. The Tremors series was horror/comedy. This is a good Action/Comedy. I love the action in this movie, it is top notch. Wesley Snipes was on top of things. He sold this movie for me and played the role of Simon Phoenix to perfection. Stallone is of course great as the good action hero. No complaints about any performance. The music is good as well. My only complaint is that it the movie is a touch long, but when I watch it I don't notice it.

    10/10, it does its job perfectly and keeps me entertained every time I watch it.
  • rbverhoef30 July 2003
    'Demolition Man' is a lot of fun to watch. A lot of things in the movie don't make any sense but those things create opportunities for some nice action and some funny moments. I am not sure if all the laughs in the movie were meant to be funny, but if you laugh, what does it actually matter.

    In the future in the city San Angeles (the area from San Diego to Los Angeles) after the earthquake people live in a perfect world. For a long time no murder has committed. Then Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes)escapes. Over 40 years ago he was a criminal arrested by John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone). Spartan killed a lot of people during Phoenix' arrest, so he was punished as well. They both were frozen, possible in 1996 in a cryo-prison. Now Phoenix has escaped (how he does this is a secret that will be revealed later in the movie) the police can't handle him because they are not used to his violent behavior. The only thing they can come up with is Spartan. With the help of Lt. Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) he must catch Phoenix and learn to know the new world.

    The story above sounds ridiculous which it sometimes is. But you can understand there must be a lot of funny moments. Almost everything Spartan used to do is illegal now and he just can't get used to it. Snipes is a great villain, Stallone is nice as long as he is in this kind of movie and Bullock has some fine lines. I enjoyed it very much.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For most of the 90s, Slyvestor Stallone's career was pretty much on free fall. After both "Rocky V" and "Rambo III" proved unsuccessful to both critics and audiences in '90, Stallone struggled to come up with another blockbuster, making carp like "Judge Dredd" and "Daylight" in the process. 1993 proved to be a semi-return to form thanks to small successes like Renny Harlin's "Cliffhanger" and "Demolition Man," an entertaining if completely forgettable action flick.

    Co-starring Wesley Snipes (who was becoming a big box office draw thanks to hits like "White Boys Can't Jump) and from producer Joel Silver, the film first starts off in a crime-laden 1997, where dedicated police officer John Spartan (Stallone) has just captured criminal Simon Phoenix (Snipes). Unfortunately, Spartan kills thirty hostages in the process, causing both of them to be convicted and rehabilitated via cryogenic freezing. Flash forward to the year 2032, where Phoenix has been freed and escapes to wreck havoc on a crime free "San Angeles." With no other options, the impotent police force (including Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt) unfreezes Spartan to apprehend the wild Phoenix.

    There's no doubt "Demolition Man" is filled with problems: the direction by Marco Brambilla (who was pretty much never seen or heard from after this) is workmanlike and pedestrian along with the numerous action scenes, the film's attempt at social commentary fails in the form of over-preachy monologues by the always loudmouth Dennis Leary, many subplots are left unresolved (including one involving Spartan's daughter which goes absolutely nowhere), and some hardcore film fans might cringe with the sight of small piece of comic relief played by none other than Rob Scheinder.

    That being said, the film does make up for its flaws, thanks to strong performances by Stallone and Snipe (both clearly seem to be enjoying themselves), a fun screenplay co-written by "Heathers" scribe Daniel Walters is loaded with cute little gags and quirks, and there's enough entertainment value to make up for most of the films faults.

    Overall, the film is a harmless piece of fun. This early 90s action flick comes recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    i really like this film even though it really isn't my style. its a bit cheesy and stupid but overall this film has a good story line and Sylvester Stallone and Wesley snipes are good too. john spartan, a cop played by "Sylvester Stallone" and Simon phoenix a criminal played by "Wesley snipes" are both cryogenic-ally frozen for crimes in 1996. Simon phoenix is paroled in 2032 where he escapes and starts running a frenzy of murder and destruction. in this imagining of 2032 everyone is very peaceful and no one commits crimes or violence. so the only thing they can do is defrost john spartan so he can go after Simon phoenix. the film is full of action and has a bit of originality to it which is good. Sandra bullock is also pretty good in this film as women who has been living by the new rules of this civilisation since birth but really wants to know more about the 20th century. i don't see why i have to say go and watch this because every one has most likely seen it, even people without TV's ha ha. so i'm just going to say that its a good film........ 7/10.......j.d Seaton
  • One of the commentators here said about the movie: "nobody likes it, apparently". Right. But they're wrong. This movie has been sold as an action movie and it has actors famous for action and little else besides. Yet action is not the point here, for the film is a bitter-sweet ironical farce about our coming destiny in the world of consumism; seen thus, the action is accidental to the movie. Just remember the scene about the car radio that exclusively plays 15-second music clips from commercials! Well, we've got almost that far. To sum up: What a strange and extraordinary Stallone movie!! Rambo meets Big Brother, and there's a lot to laugh ... and to reflect afterwards. As a consequence, this is the only Stallone movie I have in my DVD collection. And this says something.
  • leubner8526 June 2017
    Sylvester Stallone, as a cop who inadvertently kills 30 people during a showdown (accidents will happen), and Wesley Snipes, as a high-spirited psychovillain, are placed in the California CryoPenitentiary, frozen for several decades, then thawed out in the year 2032. The joke is that society has become so systematized and pleasure-denying that it's now a world of wimps. The police, trained to capture criminals with computerized gadgets, have no direct experience of physical violence. Sexual contact is illegal, as are alcohol and caffeine, and when you utter a four-letter word in public, a buzzer goes off and a prissy British voice informs you that you're to be fined one credit for violating the "verbal morality code." (Ice cream, I believe, is still allowed.)

    The movie, of course, is goofing on the puritan chic of the '90s, the new righteousness with which people are divorcing themselves from their bad habits and incorrect thoughts. But then there's Stallone, the big, beefy avatar of red-meat values. He's a winning comedian in this movie, rolling his eyes at a world that no longer places any value on testosterone. Stallone gets some lite chemistry going with Sandra Bullock, as a cop who's such a product of the post-aggressive future that she speaks like an android. As the baddie, Snipes, hair dyed the color of an upset stomach, gives a performance of operatic schlockiness, laughing in the face of…everything.

    Demolition Man is as much a piece of cheese as the grade-B sci-fi movies of the '50s, which also satirized, with a kind of touching literal- mindedness, the brainy emasculation of the future. The main difference is that those films didn't climax with 45 minutes of smashing mayhem. A Joel Silver action movie released during the fall is a bit of an oxymoron anyway, but even if it's the promise of overwrought violence that lures people into theaters, I suspect it will be the quieter scenes —the ones with a pretense of wit—that keep them satisfied.
  • Greekguy6 September 2012
    This is a guilty pleasure of mine, along with other films of this genre such as The Running Man (1987) and Escape From New York (1981). Each of these different films share a healthy distrust of authority and an examination of our cultural norms through the presentation of a dystopian society and the rebels that stand outside it. Of course, this film isn't Ingmar Bergman. It's an action flick, but it's full of intelligent material and imaginative metaphor. It's also an enjoyable ride, not unlike those westerns where a misfit rides in and handles something that the locals just can't. For me, this is the most affable characterization that Stallone has given. As John Spartan, a 20th century policeman frozen in a cryogenic prison and then thawed to pursue his nemesis Simon Phoenix (played by an effusive Wesley Snipes),Sly gives an understated and enjoyable performance as a violent "fish out of water". Snipes is very effective as the effervescent psychopath Phoenix, but Dennis Leary comes close to stealing the show with a "more than just" cameo role with one particularly funny monologue. Some critics have panned this film, and that's understandable. As I said, it's a guilty pleasure. But if you think of it as part Logan's Run (1976) and part Shane (1953), with a core that is critical of our current values and a hero that exemplifies the dangerous stranger, you might give it enough leeway to win you over. And if you have a hard time giving Stallone that much credit, please remember that Alan Ladd wasn't quite the Orson Welles of his generation. It's also important to remember that this film is more tongue-in-cheek than not, and that farce, too,is crucial to social commentary. In the end, action films like this work because they marry both our desire to be a hero in our society and to be a rebel against those social elements which aggravate us. They speak to the reluctant centurion in all of us.
  • enosshenk6 June 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    Im not sure at all why people hate on this movie. In my opinion, it bridges a gap between mindless action movie and satire, and the result is pure gold.

    Im not going to write this like a review "Stallone plays John Spartan etc" because you KNOW that. Id rather comment on the movie as it was made.

    This movie halfway pokes fun at a 1984 style future, and halfway takes it seriously. And most movies that try to split things down the middle fail on both fronts, well as I see it this one pulls it right off and makes it great. The laughs in the movie don't come from "ha-ha" gags, but rather from biting satire and eerily prescient predictions. Tracking chips, omniprescent surveillance, making cigarettes illegal? Maybe we aren't there yet, but its been heading that way for a long time. It takes a lot to make an audience laugh at a ridiculous setup, then right after the laugh make them think "Wait...That could easily happen!"

    The thing that I appreciate most about this movie is the fact that it doesn't forget its own gags. Most other movies, the first time a character was fined for the "Verbal morality statute", the movie would drop the gag, skipping the alarm tone and accusing voice. In this movie, every time someone swears in public within voice distance of whatever it is that "hears" them swear, in the background you hear the gag played out. This transforms it from a joke to a "Holy crap, that would suck" type of mindset, and it works!

    And thats what I mean. This movie more than most others that I could name merges satire and a dystopian look with lighthearted gags and "mindless" action scenes. Thats hard to do, and more people should give the writers and director and crew credit for sewing it together and making it play.

    One of the few action movies that I watch every time I catch it playing on my TV box, it works that well, and the gags still make you laugh. After all, absurdity is a very real way to highlight and satirize elements of society. It sticks with you longer that way.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sylvester Stallone's various forays into comedy have been pitiful at best. Demolition Man is the single exception. In fact, it may be the best film Stallone has ever done. Because its a vehicle perfectly suited to him. Its an actioner, but also a very funny satire on Political Correctness gone mad.

    Beginning in 1996, Los Angeles is a war zone. Stallone is renegade cop John Spartan, nicknamed the Demolition Man. Spartan is assigned to rescue hostages from psychotic criminal Simon Phoenix (a platinum blond Wesley Snipes). Spartan gets Phoenix, but when he accidentally blows up the building with the hostages inside, the two enemies share the same fate. They both wind up in cryo-prison, where they will be frozen, programmed and conditioned to become productive members of society, and then thawed out at a later date.

    Shifting to 2032, instead of the dystopian vision of the future we were expecting, Los Angeles (or San Angeles as its now called) has become a peaceful society. The world has become a very happy place. A place of no crime, no hate, and no sex!! The benevolent dictator (if there is such a thing!) of San Angeles, Dr Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorne) is none too happy that some citizens are not following his grand, master plan. Some people have broken away from society and live underground, wanting to live their own lives, led by fast-talking leader, Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary). Raiding the surface world for food and supplies, Cocteau wants them dealt with. And he has a radical plan. Thaw out Simon Phoenix to kill Edgar Friendly.

    Of course it doesn't work out that way, and Phoenix is far more interested in taking over the defenceless San Angeles, which rapidly becomes the war zone it once was. Since the police (SAPD) are ill-equipped to handle this, they come up with a radical plan of their own. Thaw out John Spartan to deal with Simon Phoenix. Partnered up with SAPD cop Lenina Huxley (a delightfully perky Sandra Bullock), in the hunt for Phoenix, they wind up tearing down the hideously nice San Angeles in the process.

    Demolition Man is a very funny satirical version of the future. Its observations are not as astute as RoboCop, but there are occasions where it is an action film of striking intelligence. The fact that the future is so nice and non-violent is a neat twist on what we usually expect from stories about our oncoming future. But the novelty is that San Angeles is so nice and non-threatening that it's almost scary. And just as frightening as any dystopia. From 1984 to Children of Men.

    There are lots of wonderful throwaway gags too, packed away into the background. There are too many to mention, but I like the neat little touches the film keeps coming up with. Like when Dr Cocteau holds a meeting, instead of addressing people in person, at the conference table are these little TV screens that swivel around as Cocteau walks about. And the cars of the future drive themselves. OK, that one's not so unexpected. But buildings that clean up after themselves! Bet you didn't see that one coming!

    Whenever Sylvester Stallone has tried his hand at comedy, the result is usually disastrous because he's seemed ill at ease with the material. But with Demolition Man, he looks like he's having a whale of a time. His utter contempt for San Angeles is very amusing, and I love the running gag of the monitors that fine you if you swear. Something Spartan puts to use when he can't figure out how the toilets work. Watch and you will see! A thinly disguised act of contempt against order.

    But the one major plus in the film's favour is the wonderful Sandra Bullock. It's hard to believe she was nominated for a Razzie award, because she's the best thing about the film. This is just before she found fame in Speed, and with Demolition Man, she displays comic timing of the best sort. Lenina's a supposed aficionado of 20th Century culture, something she proudly tells Spartan every chance she gets. But she only gets things half right. Messing up all the colloquialisms: "You can take this job and shovel it. He really matched his meet."

    Stallone and Bullock are a wonderful pair. All the most joyful moments in the film come from their scenes together. There's a really cute scene when Lenina takes Spartan back to her place to have sex. But in 2032, sex has become slightly different. Now there's no touching. Just virtual reality helmets to simulate it. Their wires get seriously crossed, and both Lenina and Spartan are baffled at what the other person wants ("Fluid transfer, yuck!").

    Wesley Snipes is not bad in the part of the villain. He throws himself into it with real larger than life abandon, even if a lot of his puns are atrocious. But he handles the action scenes well enough. He could have done without the peroxide hairstyle though.

    And as for Nigel Hawthorne, well he looks a little out of place in the film. He's an actor who looks more at home on the stage or in a period piece, and I get the impression he's a bit uncomfortable acting in an action vehicle. Its a performance phoned in on his part, which might explain why he gets killed just a little over halfway through.

    But nevertheless, Demolition Man has much to recommend. It moves at a brisk pace, its funny and exciting in all the right places, and as action films go, its quite witty too. Love the snide comment Sly makes towards Arnie, who goes on to be President. Only intended as a pun at the time, but he's Governor now isn't he? Who knows? It could happen!
  • I look at the incredibly low rating on internet forums and I can only presume that those who voted are from the arty farty set, the kind of people who class a 7 minute shot of a curtain as the pinnacle of great cinema. I can't for the life of me believe that any fan of the dumb action popcorn picture could not have enjoyed this tremendously fun, violent, and furious film.

    It's 1996 and L.A. is in chaos, Sly Stallone is tough bastard cop John Spartan, a cop who is known as The Demolition Man because he does what it takes to take the bad guys down. After a slam bang encounter with ultimate bad maniac Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes having the time of his life) he gets thrown into permanent cryogenic prison (along with the apprehended Phoenix) for not saving some hostages during the show down with Phoenix. The plot then spins us to San Angeles 2032 where there is little to no crime except for some mild survival crime from an underground army led by a delightfully stoic Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary), but somehow Simon Phoenix is out, and the future is about to revert back to chaos and destruction.

    The police of the time just can't cope, so they thaw out Spartan to catch his old sparring partner to hopefully end the chaos that San Angeles now finds itself in. The jokes are thick and fast as Stallone enjoys laughing at himself, it's also an interesting vision of the future that writers Peter M. Lenkov and Robert Reneau have created, but in amongst the jokes is a very cute social commentary that may have been missed by the arty farty set, so although the film serves purely as a one date no brainer offering, it still can proudly lay claim to being one of the best that the genre had to offer not only 1993 (a good year for action movies), but also the whole decade.

    Leave the brain at the door, turn all the speakers up, and enjoy the ride. Oh and don't look at the curtains. 9/10
  • Demolition Man is an action classic. Great characters, and actors that fit them perfectly, good sets and futuristic scenery, hilarious dialogue all throughout (as per my title), great interesting plot with very few holes, and never a boring moment. Plenty of action, violence, laughs, and even romance. Stallone and Snipes are great as cop-villain enemies. Haven't watched this in many years but gave it a view tonight and thought it was well worth a review. Few movies do I have no complaints about, and this is one of them. Excellent film.
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