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Demolition Man (1993)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 69%
Overall Rating
Ranked #701
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Connections: Demolition Man

Frozen in 1996, Simon Phoenix, a convicted crime lord, is revived for a parole hearing well into the 21st century. Revived into a society free from crime, Phoenix resumes his murderous rampage, and no one can stop him. John Spartan, the police officer who captured Phoenix in 1996, has also been cryogenically frozen, this time for a crime he did not commit. In 2032, the former cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara have merged into peaceful, utopian San Angeles. Unable to stop him with their non-violent solutions, the police release Spartan to help recapture Phoenix. Now after 36 years, Spartan has to adapt himself to the future society he has no knowledge about. --IMDb
Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes
Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
Nigel Hawthorne
Nigel Hawthorne
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
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Review by Crispy
Added: December 21, 2007
Over the summer, my fellow reviewers went through an '80s action movie shtick. Honestly, I am utterly amazed this movie was not part of that, because even though it was released in 1993, it still has all the characteristics that make those movies what they are.

In 1996, Los Angeles is a complete war zone. The city is completely run by the gang of Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), and when a bus wanders into L.A., Phoenix quickly hijacks the bus. Realizing just how far off the charts Phoenix is, the LAPD decides to send in a maniac to catch the maniac. Enter Detective John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone). Over three years on the force he has amassed over a thousand arrests and caused millions of dollars in property damage, earning himself the nickname 'The Demolition Man.' Spartan's confrontation with Phoenix ended not only in Phoenix's arrest, but also in a huge explosion and thirty dead hostages. Both man have been sentenced to forty years in cryostasis. Fast forward to the year, 2031 and Phoenix is thawed for his parole. However, somehow he awakes with martial arts training, security access codes, and an increase to his already out of control aggression. The world he awoke to is vastly different. San Angeles (A merging of San Diego and Los Angeles following a huge earthquake) is now a peaceful utopia, where the last murder was over sixteen years ago and the city's most heinous crimes are people using profanity. Obviously, the SAPD are nowhere near adequate enough to handle this level of violence. At the urging of Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), a cop who is obsessed with the urban warfare of the previous century, they bring John Spartan back to reel Phoenix in again. Of course, they never imagined that bringing The Demolition Man into this Utopian society would cause just as much damage as Phoenix himself.

Again, what we have here is your typical '80s action movie, even if it is a bit late. It starts off fast, and only takes a small breath before picking back up again. And even when the action calms down, watching Spartan's fish-out-of-water experience has its fair share of comedy to keep the pace moving. His solution to toilet paper being obsolete had me laughing so hard I was crying. And the most amazing part here, the acting was actually not awful. Sly Stallone gives the standard sarcastic badass performance, but thankfully the punny one-liners were kept to a minimum. Sandra Bullock also gave a solid performance as the naive cop trying to emulate 20th century culture, and of course she's damn nice on the eyes. And last but not least, Wesley Snipes fuses the token black comedic role with the lead villain. While I could see him annoying some people, I found him to be entertaining as hell. The only real aspect we're missing is the gratuitous nudity/sex scene. Instead they opted for this half-assed cyber-sex approach. Shame too, because otherwise this movie would have won the award for Cheesiest Lead-In to a Sex Scene in the History of Cinema.

My biggest complaint is the new 21st century slang. Obviously, language is going to change in thirty-six years, and props to the filmmakers for that subtle detail, but damn did they choose an annoying route. Going along with the purity of the society, the language is very prim and proper. 'Salutations' and 'Greetings' is used for 'hello' and 'Be well' is 'goodbye.' Also, people are typically referred to by first and last name, so hearing the guy being called "John Spartan" throughout the movie got old really quick, as did the rest of the new slang.

The combination of laughs and action kept a smile on my face throughout a healthy chunk of the running time. Not to mention we've got cameos from Rob Schneider, Jesse Ventura, and Bill Goldman. I saw this for the first time last night, and I'm really kicking myself for waiting so long to see it. It's one hell of a fun movie. 8.5/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 07/11/2010, 02:46 AM
I loved this fucking movie. 8/10
Farley #2: Farley - added 07/11/2010, 08:13 PM
How the hell do the shells work?!
Griffinheart #3: Griffinheart - added 07/11/2010, 11:34 PM
Ha, he doesn't know how the shells work!
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