Movie Review: Demolition Man (1993)

“In the year 2032, Simon Phoenix escapes from prison, on the verge of bringing crime to San Angeles. One man is called back to duty as a last resort. They call him… THE DEMOLITION MAN.”

1 Stars
Demolition Man (1993)

Demolition Man (1993)


Director: Marco Brambilla

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock

Synopsis: A disgraced police officer is freed from suspended animation to hunt down an old foe who is terrorising a violence-free utopia of the future.


Sly Stallone (D-Tox, Escape Plan) is placed in suspended animation after the authorities wrongly believe he allowed a dozen hostages to be killed in order to catch his man – the blonde-haired Wesley Snipes (Sugar Hill).   While Sly and Wes are in the freezer, America undergoes a pacifist revolution so that, within a generation-and-a-half, the police are completely unfamiliar with violence.   This makes them completely unprepared for the carnage wreaked by Wes once he escapes from prison, and requires the thawing out of Sly to provide some opposition.

This is one of those films that require the viewer to park all thought processes at the opening credits and immerse themselves in the film completely, otherwise, you’ll spend the entire film laughing derisively at its poorly conceived vision of a pacifist utopia.   If you can park your brain – and it’s no easy task, believe me – you might wring some enjoyment out of the noisy action set-pieces that come along every ten minutes or so.

Having said that, Demolition Man could do with maybe twenty minutes trimmed off the running time (a couple of sub-plots were apparently dropped, but it’s not enough), because things get a bit repetitive after a while.   Wesley Snipes’ character also grows increasingly tiresome as the film goes on.   I think he’s supposed to be one of those bad guys whose manic sense of humour leaves you with a sneaking admiration for him, but his insipid one-liners – combined with Snipes’ poor performance – means it just doesn’t work.   Plenty of movie references, though, for those who like that kind of thing, and the annoying boss cop looks just like Dr. Cyclops…

(Reviewed 14th October 2011)





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