Dave and Rachel's movie reviews.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Demolition Man

Year: 1993
Running time: 115 minutes
Certificate: 15
Language: English
Screenplay: Daniel Waters, Robert Reneau, Peter M. Lenkov
Director: Marco Brambilla
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Nigel Hawthorne, Benjamin Bratt, Bob Gunton, Glenn Shadix, Denis Leary, Bill Cobbs 

Hero pose #28
Ah, cheesy action movies from yesteryear, how we love you. Opening in the ‘future’ of 1996, depicting a world gone wild where crime rules, Demolition Man is always good for a laugh. Hero cop Jon Spartan (Sylvester Stallone, working at the peak of his comedy-action powers) is nicknamed 'The Demolition Man' due to the building-wrecking fallout of his particular type of police work. To be fair to Spartan, however, he does tend to go after the most psychopathic of villains - "Send a maniac to catch a maniac," goes the repeated refrain. But what good is a destructive, wise-cracking hero cop without a suitably barmy nemesis? Enter Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), the hyperactive, unstable foil for Spartan, evil yet somewhat difficult to take seriously with ridiculous peroxide blonde hair.

During an altercation, Spartan gets framed for the deaths of a busload of civilians, and he and Phoenix get sent down together. In the future of the mid-nineties, however, a prison term is served while cryogenically frozen, undergoing rehabilitation in the form of subliminal suggestion. After 36 years in the freezer, Phoenix is mysteriously set loose and proceeds to cause murderous havoc. In 2032, it seems the world has managed to completely reorganise itself into a non-violent utopia, and as such the modern day police department is entirely unequipped to deal with Phoenix.

Simon Phoenix, a psychopathic kid in a non-violent candy shop.
Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), love interest (nobody ever said a 90s action movie was going to be original) and a cop bored with her perfect world and obsessed with the violence-filled past becomes involved with a hair-brained scheme to recapture Phoenix - defrost Spartan and send him after him. Spartan's pursuit of Phoenix reveals the mystery behind Phoenix's escape as well as the dirty underbelly hiding below the new Utopia's peaceful surface, while indulging in several fun action set-pieces on the way.

Always an enjoyable watch, but the cracking concept, the competent (if not spectacular) action cinematography, Stallone and Bullock are all upstaged by the explosive turn from Wesley Snipes as the cold-blooded mass murderer with his own line in comedy one-liners and highly suspect style choices.

Decent set-pieces and lots of foul-mouthed fun make for a great, if rather silly, whole.

Score: 7/10

There's more to Demolition Man than meets the eye - take a look at these re-appraisals from Ryan at Den of Geek and Matt at The A.V. Club.

No comments:

Post a Comment