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Demolition Man: The future in retrospect

In the future, no one can hear you scream. Wait, scratch that.

Elrood asked me to cover for him for his Friday post which presented a bit of a problem as I had A) nothing to review for Faceplant and B) the attention span reminiscent of a squirrel on PCP.  I’m assuming PCP has a negative effect on the attention span of squirrels.  Someone should do a study on that, I think.  This is the kind of thing that our taxpayer dollars need to be funding!  Is a squirrel on PCP more or less focused than a squirrel on, say, heroin or cocaine?  What kind of drugs are actually affecting squirrel communities across the United States?  These are the burning questions of our time.

Oh, right.  Reviews and whatnot.  Seriously, I didn’t mean to come on here and ramble about squirrels, but I am WAY too locked in to start over at this point.  To make a long story short, to commemorate this Elrood-less dark period in our lives, I took time to deliberately watch a terrible movie, what so I could review it.  This one’s for you, Roods.  You bastard.

Demolition Man.  Odds are you have a passing knowledge of the film, at the very least.  Created in the misty bygone days of 1993, the film featured a one man super soldier (Sylvester Stallone.  As if you needed me to tell you who played the one man super soldier in every action film produced in the 1990s) who has to come to grips with the future.  Here’s the run down.


Our two main characters here are a blonde headed scamp of a psychopath by the name of Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) and John Spartan (Stallone), the hot headed cop who is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.  Yeah.  Simon Phoenix and John Spartan.  As 1990s action film names go, this is actually pretty par the course.

At the beginning of the film, Spartan kicks in the doors of one of Phoenix’s hideouts single-handedly, because I guess that’s how the LAPD used to do things in the 90s.  There’s some babbles about hostages, and the whereabouts of, and then Phoenix blows up the entire building, leaving Spartan to haul his sorry ass to safety.  As soon as they’re free, the police find a whole mess of bodies, and somehow Phoenix convinces the police it was all Spartan’s fault.  Since…  I guess he was a totally reliable and unbiased witness?

So what do the police do with our two crazy action stars?  They freeze them, of course.  This might be the reporter in me talking, but I just can’t see how freezing crooks and criminals, and monitoring their life signals and putting new life skills in their heads is any more cost effective than our current criminal justice system, where we just put them in a jail cell and let them watch TV.  Plus, while Spartan may, if you believe the word of a known killer, crook and psychopath, have been too zealous in his efforts to bring Phoenix in, Phoenix would have at least been given the death penalty for being the jerk to set it all up in the first place.

Swearing results in a fine, which is something that I hope, for the sake of this blog, never actually happens in real life.

Argh, what am I doing?  If I start poking at every plot hole in Demolition Man, we’re going to be here all day (seriously, how much ammo did they store in the museum gun exhibit?  Why would they make those guns completely functional!?  Aaaah, I’m doing it again!).

Let’s move on, shall we?  Phoenix gets thawed out in the far off future (or 2036) and starts murdering people with suspicious foreknowledge and ease.  The local 5-0 are too candy pants to do much about it and are better suited to hauling in parole violations and profanity tickets.  Did I mention that the future has outlawed everything fun and good?   Well they did.  And they have a new vernacular to go with it that is suitably future-y, devoid of all emotion and somewhat silly during the full two hour run of this film.

The only one who can catch Phoenix is SPARTAN.  So, plucky police officer Lenina Huxley(Sandra Bullock) thaws the dude out and off they go to dole out the explosions and murders.

First the bad things about this film.  Wait.  No.  Wait.  It’d actually be a bit quicker if I mentioned the things I liked about the film.  Hang on.

Sandra Bullock.  That’s basically it.  Like I said, the lingo in 2036 is suitably silly, but Bullock’s delivery of those lines was spot on.  She nailed it.  At times, I found myself wondering how she actually managed to act during whole sections of the film with a straight face.  I did also get a chuckle at 1993’s portrayal of the 21st century, but a lot of that may have been because of my love for watching terrible television sci-fi shows for just this very reason.

She’s just so… damn EAGER to dispense this stuff. It’s baffling.

Also, I have to give Demolition Man credit:  They also found a great way to add in product placement.  The radio plays an endless stream of classic radio jingles, and the characters will smile and laugh as they sing along.  Taco Bell is the only restaurant left on the face of the planet for reasons never fully explained.

But I know you don’t care about that!  Demolition Man is an action film!  You just want to know about the explosions, and the sizes thereof.  After watching the full hour and 51 minutes of this film, I can safely report that the explosions, gun fights and car chases are… passable?  It’s a Stallone film.  Pretty standard fare.

I am, for the sake of this review, being overly hard on the film.  I did, after all, watch the whole damn thing.  And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it either.  Take it with a grain of salt.  It’s kind of like eating an entire package of cookies from WalMart.  You know you shouldn’t and that you’ll immediately regret it, but dammit, sometimes you just NEED the frosting SO BAD.


2 Responses

  1. i watched this a couple times on tv as a kid. i do remember it was horrible, but somehow i don’t remember sandra bullock being in it. probably because i don’t equate her with horrible.

  2. MURDER DEATH KILL! Oh man. I remember 1993. Back when Sandra Bullock was hot. Then Miss Congeniality happened. Ugh. Also, this is streaming on Netflix? Hells yeah.

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