DEMOLITION MAN

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Demolition Man Cover Cain versus Able. Superman versus Lex Luthor. Streisand versus Manilow. And Spartan verses Phoenix. Four timeless battles which are so brave and so bold, one of them was brought to you by the Director: Marco Brambilla; and the Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, with Nigel Hawthorne. It chucked its first jab in 1993, and it lasted for a whole 115 minutes.


Demolition Man


THE STORY:
Imagine you're living in a utopian society sometime in 2032, when all of a sudden a mysterious figure defrosts from his cryogenics slumber the 20th Century bad boy, Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), prompting him to cause mayhem upon the city streets.

So what do you do about it? Huh? You. The 20th century enthusiast, Lieutenant Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), from the "San Angeles" police department. You know that your fellow officers can't cope with a criminal such as Simon, so why don't you defrost the man who arrested him in the first place? John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone). So that he can 'take him down' his way.

OK. I have to admit. It will take John quite a bit of time to acclimatize himself into his new surroundings. And even then, he'll only be able to catch up to Simon when he breaks into a museum to obtain some firearms for himself.

No. I'm afraid to say that John won't be able to catch Simon at this precise moment in time. This 'bad-boy' will escape from John's grasp, and then attempt to shoot the key developer of this futuristic world, Dr. Raymond Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorn), whilst running free.

Hey! Don't fret, Lenina. Simon can’t shoot Raymond dead! He'll run away instead. Because Raymond was the man who manufactured Simons release in the first place, as well as being the evil mastermind who implanted inside him subliminal messages that: [1] Enhance his abilities. [2] Goads him to kill underworld deviant, Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary). And [3] Makes sure he doesn't kill his savior either.

Moreover, after this event, Cocteau will also award you and John for Simon's departure, which inadvertently instigating a confrontation between John and Edgar that.... err... doesn't really go according to plan.

Then again, I suppose that is why what next transpires kicks off on the following day. As confrontations are made - heroes are dismayed - attacks dissolves into ice - and a kiss on the lips is very-very nice.




THE REVIEW:
Without beating around the bush, folks, I'd say that 'Demolition Man' is one third comic book movie, one third action movie, and one third satirical science-fiction film too.

Sly and Sandra in Demolition Man
Moreover, it is a really enjoyable adventure to watch. Here, check out some of these filmic facts for a quick back-story about this project. (1) For marketing reasons alone, the Arabian title for this movie in Kuwait was "Rambo The Destroyer". (2) Sylvester Stallone wanted Jackie Chan to play the part of Simon Phoenix in this flick. But Jackie refused. He felt that his audience would not accept him in this 'bad guy' role. (3) Lori Petty was originally cast as Lenina, but was replaced by Sandra Bullock after a few days shooting due to creative differences. (4) The two lead actors in this flick were originally supposed to be Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Yet, just like Jackie, neither of them wanted to play the 'bad-guy' role. (5) In a select few non-American releases, the eating establishment, 'Taco Bell', was changed to 'Pizza Hut', because of the global association with this brand. (6) Wesley Snipes is a 'black belt' in real life, and at the time of filming wasn't that proficient with 'film fighting' compared to 'real fighting'. (7) The title 'Demolition Man' was taken from a Sting song of the same name. (8) According to Sly, the idea behind the 'three seashells' was that two of them were to be used like chopsticks -- to clamp together and pull waste out of the body -- whilst the third one was used to scrape what was left behind. (9) The name Lenina Huxley is a combination of two names: Lenina Crowne and Aldous Huxley. Crowne is a character in Aldous Huxley 1932 novel, 'Brave New World', which is a story about a non-offensive futuristic society. (10) Sandra Bullock's dress for the 'dinner-date scene' was made from stones and gems that weighed approximately 40 pounds. It started to rip whilst shooting though, which is why she had to hold onto it so tightly. (11) DC Comics published a 'Demolition Man' comic book after this film was made, devised by Rod Whigham and Gary Cohn.


Sly and Wesley in Demolition Man


OK, so now that the trivia is out of the way with -- 'Demolition Man' -- masterpiece or masturbation? Well, to be honest with you, folks, this sci-fi movie is very predictable in places, and has a certain eighties vibe to it that's for the acquired taste. Nevertheless, whilst saying that, this flick just fills the screen with fun, fights, fantasy, and other such foolishness, as if it were a live action cartoon brought to life.

Heck, from its very first scene you can tell how this film is going to end. Yet, it is the manner in which this story is told in, that distracts you from the obvious nature of its premise. The fights are fine for an nineties american production. The special effects are not that bad either. But for me, personally speaking, it is the humor which makes this movie stand out from the crowd.


Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man


Demolition Man Comic Book
Honestly. It’s all those inadvertent side gags that really brings the sparks to this piece. Such as the fact that salt, swearing, and sex, are all deemed illegal for instance. Also, how Sandra Bullock’s character keeps on mispronouncing slag in an unfortunate way is very charming too. Plus, whenever anyone swears, a machine goes off and announces an imposed fine.

Granted, one or two of these gags are a little ‘off’ in my book. Like the commercial jingles some of the cast sing. But all in all most of them works within the confines of the reality this film has presented us with.

'And why is that?' you may ask yourself. Well, it's the cast of course. Sly does his usual macho man bit. Wesley is like an animated manga cartoon. Nigel plays the 'token mastermind' with a great air of authority about him. And Sandra is just so cute and so adorable, the very thought of her makes me want to take a cold shower very-very soon.




Wait a minute! I might as well do just that. So before I go I best mention that overall ‘Demolition Man’ is a great action movie, and is presented in the same vein as other sci-fi comedy action films as ‘The Running Man’ or ‘Evolution’. Lovely.

THE RATING: B+