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Customer Review

34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SANDRA BULLOCK STEALS THE SHOW...., December 8, 2002
This review is from: Demolition Man [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is an enormously entertaining film that is slyly intelligent, chock full of action, and quite humorous. The time is the future, 2032 AD. The location is California, and the police just ain't what they used to be, as the future is a sanitized, politically correct world, where only the most benign behavior is the standard by which all live. Even bad language is a no no. The police of the future have nothing in common with the police of the past. Guns are outlawed, as is all physical violence. Los Angeles is no more, having merged with San Diego into a new entity known as San Angeles, which is ruled by the architect of the new society, Dr. Raymond Cocteau, who is played with sage aplomb by the late Nigel Hawthorne. He is not, however, all that he seems.

This is, indeed, a "brave new world" and Lenina Huxley, played with delicious comic abandon by Sandra Bullock, is a police woman who waxes nostalgic for the past. The LAPD is now the SAPD. Her colleague, Alfredo Garcia, played with Eagle Scout earnestness by Benjamin Bratt, epitomizes the new order of things. He is a Dudley-do-right without the wherewithal to set right what is soon to go wrong. His is a future where everyone's whereabouts are known to the police, as all are tagged with a device that allows the police monitor their whereabouts. His is a future where all obey instantly, and civility is the standard of the day. His is a future where all address each other by their full names. His is a future where meat is no longer a food item, the use of salt is illegal, and corporate franchise wars have left Taco Bell to reign supreme as THE restaurant of the time. His is a future where sex is a non-contact activity.

The violent past intrudes on this sanitized future in the persona of Simon Phoenix, played with over-the-top abandon by a blond Wesley Snipes, who, like a phoenix arising out of the ashes, is freed from his cryogenic prison and unleashed upon an unprepared SAPD. Clueless in the face of such testosterone charged violence, the SAPD arrange to have twentieth century super lawman John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) released from his own cryogenic prison in hopes that he will be able to deal with the chaotic nature of Simon Phoenix and stop his senselessly violent rampage. Lenina Huxley is teamed up with Spartan in order to help him adjust to this brave new world. She is over-the-top with happiness at this development, as her fondness for nostagia will be sated by the opportunity to get up close and personal with a blast from the past.

Needless to say, Spartan and Phoenix clash, as old warriors are wont to do. There is enough violence, mayhem, and action to satisfy the most die hard fans of this genre. What happens will not disappoint the viewer, as old scores are settled, inequitable situations are righted, and a brave new world gets a little fine tuning for the better. This action flick, sci-fi crossover does not fail to entertain, and it does so more intelligently than most films in this genre. Make no mistake, however, while Wesley Snipes gives her a run for her money, it is Sandra Bullock who steals the show with her drolly delivered dialogue, her deft comedic timing and innate charm. Sylvester Stallone, as wooden as ever, is not even a blip on the radar.
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