on March 3, 2001
Demolition Man is one of those rare action flicks that seem to have intellegence beyond the guns and explosions. Sylvester Stallone plays John Spartan, a reckless cop who has made it his mission to bring down his arch-enemy Simon Phoenix. Phoenix is a crime lord who has kidnapped 30 bus passengers. John Spartan rushes in and attempts to save them and apprehend Phoenix, but the passengers apparently die in an explosion set by Phoenix. John Spartan is arrested for the deaths of the passengers and charged with involuntary manslaughter, and both men are sent to a cryogenic prison, and frozen. But decades later in the year 2032, Phoenix escapes, and all hell breaks loose.
The world has become peaceloving, and there are no more violent weapons on the streets, and physical contact of any kind is frowned upon. So you can imagine the kind of time a criminal like Phoenix would be having. The only way to stop him is to thaw Spartan, and soon the 2 enemies go at it all over the futuristic city of San Angeles. Sandra Bullock also stars as the cop who becomes the partner of Spartan in the future, and she starts to question everything she has been brought up to believe in.
This is where the film becomes an intellegent satire as well as an action film. The future, while bright and crime-free, has left the world without freedom. Salt, red meat, and even sex has become illegal. The police encode chips into peoples hands so they can keep track of them wherever they go. But once Spartan is released, he takes an immediate disliking to the brave new world. Interlaced in all of this is plenty of humor in the dialogue, as Stallone's character does and says things that freaks out the people around him who have never seen behavior like that before. As for the action, this film has some incredible action scenes. There is a brawl between Phoenix and Spartan on a futuristic highway going 70 miles an hour, and plenty of shootouts. This DVD doesn't offer much in the way of extras, but there is a good commentary by the director, and standard/wide picture sizes of the film, and a trailer. One of the best action movies of the 90's, right up there with T2.
on October 31, 2012
This is not a review of the film. This is for the people who just want to know if this is a good Blu-Ray release.
Yes. Yes it is. I know how frustrating it is these days buying Blu-Ray copies of our favorite classics only to find out that the transfer is nothing more than the DVD (or worse) slapped on a Blu-Ray disk and now $10 more. Fortunately this is not the case with Demolition Man. There's not much as far as extras, and no special menu, but if all you're looking for is a good clean sharp transfer that really looks Blu-Ray, then you've found it.
on November 26, 2000
1996: The city of Los Angeles is an absolute wreck. Crime abounds, with the most notorious bad guy around, Simon Phoenix(Wesley Snipes) taking it all in like one big joke. John Spartan (Stallone) has been after this guy for several years, but in the process of finally arresting Phoenix, the building around them explodes, appartently taking several innocent hostages up with it. Spartan is stripped of his rank and sentenced to cryogenic imprisonment for 70 years.
2032: Spartan has served 36 years of his sentence. Phoenix, who was imprisoned in the same facility, escapes and begins to reinvigorate his reign of terror. The only problem is that the LA that Spartan, Phoenix, and the rest of us all know and love has turned into a megalopolis called San Angeles, a politically correct paradise where there is absolutely no violent crime---correction, no crime of any kind---whatsoever. (There is also no profanity, and anyone who swears is fined for violations of the Verbal Morality Statute.) Consequently, people have forgotten how to deal with a fugitive like Phoenix. The only solution is to bring Spartan out of the freezer, which is exactly what happens.
This movie introduced me to action movies, particularly Stallone movies, and the movie soundtrack genre. The special effects will blow you away all by themselves. This was also the first movie I ever saw with Sandra Bullock. Perhaps it's because of her airy portrayal of Lt. Huxley that made me think of her as my favorite actress for a while. But that's another story.
I think that San Angeles is a funny bone-tickling example of political correctness gone to far. Either that or it's social conservatism. Sometimes I wonder if San Angeles is the kind of world people in the family values crowd would like to live in. In any case, even if you don't like action movies very much, I think you will like this one.
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.
on July 29, 2011
A feast for Sly and Wesley fans, as they brawl it up in the past, present, and future: thawed out from their cyrogenic prisons (in 1996 or 2096? doesn't matter), they pick up the pace 36 years later in a new version of California, reconfigured following "the big one of 2010".
A Dictator has arisen and brought about a new, Peaceful, orderly world...by driving the "lower element" underground. Sly and Wesley and Sandra Bullock shake, rattle, and roll in both worlds...and in both centuries - Bullock has studied the ancient past and is able to work with Stallone, as she understands his "primitive" culture.
If that's too "out there", just enjoy the incredible special effects, the tight editing, the musical score. We look into the (not so distant) future... and see alot that does not seem so remote: the "freedom" of the above ground society comes at a great price - be subjugated by the powers that be and live clean, healthy...and not much more. The have-nots have no meaning in the new order.
Watch for special cameo by Jesse The Body Ventura just before he became Jesse The Governor Ventura. And listen for a moderately portentuous mention of Arnold Schwartzenegger.
The film never quite makes up its' mind if it's action-adventure or satire; that enhances its' presumptive "cult" status.
Afterthought: Sly Stallon, pushing 50 at the time, looks to be about at his "Rocky" weight and very vital. There's a big list of stunt artists in the cloing credits but Stallone, Snipes, and others really broke a sweat for the fans.
Stallone and Snipes each chews the scenery in his particular diverting way in this largelly comic take on the near future (as seen from 1993) when peace and niceness seems to have finally gained the upper hand on human behavior. That Stallone and Snipes play comparatively savage adversaries from the past is enough indication of the direction the plot takes, with Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt along for the ride. As a bonus, it features one of Nigel Hawthorne's rare ventures into genre films and throws in some semi-gratuitous Dennis Leary.
on May 23, 2014
Demolition Man is one of the best sci-fi movies in my opinion. It has a cheesy storyline, cheesy jokes, but at the same time it all fits in perfectly with everything else. I recommend this fun, funny, action packed movie to everybody who likes movies like this. Sandra Bullock will make you laugh throughout the entire movie too!
on April 19, 2015
Finally saw the Blu-ray version of this underrated 90s popcorn flick last night. Since there have been 1,000 reviews of the 25-year-old Stallone-Snipes-Bullock film already, I won't go into detail on the plot (but I will nit pit a bit later). The Blu-ray transfer is indeed a Blu-ray upgrade; they remastered the film and it looks good. There's not much to the disk; it's the movie and that's all. But if you own an ancient VHS copy or the first-generation disappointment of a DVD (and if you really like the film enough to pony up extra cash for this disk), you'll love what's here.
As for the movie itself, it's fun if you don't take it seriously. The only thing that drives me crazy about this flick is the timeline. The movie was made in 1993. So, we're expected to believe that in three years, crime has gone totally to hell in Los Angeles. Stallone and Snipes are placed into cryogenic sleep for 36 years shortly thereafter. When they awake in 2032 or whatever, the world has become a place where only a handful of people remember what life was like back in the monstrous 20th century. Otherwise, in a mere four decades, cops no longer know how to be cops, guns only exist in museums, people have never heard of toilet paper, sex/"fluid exchanges" are forbidden, and routine expressions like "Take this job and shove it" are completely foreign (and messed up by "modern" people who try to use them). This is hard to buy, popcorn flick or not. Think about it: How much do you remember (or know) about the 1970s? If the movie had been set in 2132, or even 2082, this might have seemed believable. Also, "San Angeles" apparently is the only bastion of civilization left, as there is no reference to any other place on the planet. Maybe they were saving that info for the sequel. Oh well.
on February 5, 2016
I'm a child of the 80's, what can I say? Everytime I tell someone I'm "Enhancing my calm" they just look at me like I'm hiding a freak-flag behind my back. But I couldn't care less. I LOVE Dennis Leary playing a role here, he's perfect. This is one of those movies I collect because it's part of the memory of my youth. Something we all need a loittle help with from time to time. Plus, I love action movies.
on August 31, 2015
What a fun early Sandra Bullock movie. Of course Stallone & Snipes are quite good in portraying their characters to the fullest. I highly recommend this futuristic 'smack 'em up', as our family calls them.