Thursday, October 3, 2013


*Anti-Snob Theater: Focusing on Movies Which I Think Have Been Unfairly Judged and Disregarded by the Cinema Masses. They Are Not Necessarily the Greatest Films in the World, But They Have a Fun Factor That Can't Be Ignored. Proceed With an Open Mind and Soak Up the Ridiculous Fun!

Demolition Man
Director: Marco Brambilla
Year 1993

Demolition Man is an insanely fun flick which mixes comedy and action into a futuristic setting, and just goes hog wild with it. Featuring a stellar cast and an unrelenting tongue and cheek wit, the film dabbles in the absurd in the most entertaining of ways. Bridging the gap between over the top violence and comic relief, this unusual sci-fi picture is a sure joy to witness, even if it isn't anything else but fun action fluff. If you don't like it then what appears to be your boggle?

The film follows 20th century super cop John Spartan as he is wrongfully imprisoned and frozen in cryo-sleep, only to be unthawed in the year 2032 in order to take down the master criminal Simon Phoenix, the man you put him away. As a man out of time, Spartan must come to grips with the massive changes that the world has gone through, while also getting to grips that his arch enemy is out on the streets, maiming and killing as he goes. With the help of an intrepid police officer named Lenina Huxley, John Spartan closes in on Phoenix, but unexpectedly stumbles across a sinister conspiracy in this seemingly perfect brave new world.

Sylvester Stallone takes on the role of John Spartan, the Demolition Man, a one man army who always takes down the bad guys. Stallone is, well Stallone, in this over the top hero role and he's nothing but outstanding as he kicks ass and takes names. His fish out of water scenario is hilarious, and the filmmakers and Stallone make great efforts in capitalizing on this particular angle. Stallone himself works wonders with the material, riffing off of the rest of the cast as he plays the “neanderthal” cop to perfection. His reactions to the outrageous changes that have taken place over the last thirty nine years are classic and the comedic timing in which he possesses in these situations is absolute entertainment. If there was ever a role tailor made for Stallone, then this would be it. He absolutely nails the part and sets the tone for the rest of the cast.

As for the role of Simon Phoenix, Spartan's arch enemy, the honors go to the remarkably on point Wesley Snipes. In this film he is in his element, as his super-charged smart ass remarks and athletic ability are constantly on display. I've never been too ecstatic over Snipes previous roles, though there are some classics in there, but with Simon Phoenix, he is remarkably charismatic and deliciously evil to boot. Plus it doesn't hurt that he looks like he is having the time of his life throwing people through glass windows and basically setting a fire under the film. There is just something engaging about watching a character like Phoenix run rampant throughout a cinema world that has no means of stopping him and Snipes doesn't waste the opportunity in generating a great deal of energy to the cinematic proceedings. The pairing of Snipes and Stallone is a match made in action heaven and the two actors really show how charismatic and appealing they can be.

As for the rest of the cast, Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary are exceptionally entertaining as Lenina Huxley and Edgar Friendly, while supporting characters like Nigel Hawthorne and Benjamin Bratt take great efforts to fill out the rest of the world. Nigel Hawthorne particularly gives a nefarious performance as the leader of the new world Dr. Raymond Cocteau and he proves to be an especially gifted prick among movie villains. Out of all of these actors though, Sandra Bullock stands out as the most endearing of the bunch. Her innocent portrayal as the 20th Century obsessed Officer Huxley adds a cute addition to the film. I've never really been a fan of Bullock, but she nails the comedy on this front, while also dishing out some pretty sweet action moments.

Aside from the great characters of the film, the real asset of the production is the overall tone and atmosphere of Demolition Man. The balance between comedy and action is spot on, and the idea of a future society where violence and crime are obsolete, is just too interesting not to delve into. Added onto that the inclusion to drop two super violent people into the mix and allow them to do battle is icing on this truly irresistible cake. In the end, the most appealing thing to me is that the film is just plain fun. From beginning to end, it never loses its sense of humor and it never takes itself too seriously, as it showcases interesting characters against a plethora of entertaining action. Honestly that's all that I ask for in a fun movie night.

Demolition Man is a remarkably overlooked action film, which seems to have been written off by the masses as a stupid Stallone starring vehicle. To me, it's the silly fun that makes it so damn appealing. It's a film that knows what it wants to be and fully embraces it, plunging us into a world that is beyond belief, all the while allowing us to just play around in its absurdity. Sylvester Stallone nails it out of the park while Wesley Snipes gives one of the most entertaining performances of his career, showcasing that both actors have impeccable screen chemistry with each other.

The film is not one that is daring and unpredictable, but one that is energized to the max, focusing on entertaining its audience no matter how wild or strange it gets. It knows what it is and it wears its heart on its sleeve and to me that is one of its most endearing qualities. As action packed science fiction comedies go, you'd be hard pressed to not see the appeal in this one. It may have been overlooked and cast into obscurity, but for me it is a production that always makes me smile. Come hell or high water, when Demolition Man is on the old boob tube, my ass is on the couch laughing it all up. Don't be a snob and give this one a go. You just might be surprised. Demolition Man is.....

Don't dis the beret dude!

Simon's got his eye on you... or someones.

Futuristic Staring Contest.... GO!

You buy old what, motherfucker?

Lenina... You're freaking me out again.

Duck Face!

Quit laughing and tell the man what the three sea shells are! I want to know!

Looks like someone is a fan of Mad Max.

So are we going to have sex or what?

Looks like Mr. Friendly isn't so friendly after all.

Wesley Snipes was a huge fan of Beetlejuice. Otho!

The beret is on. It's time to kick some ass!

Beam me up Simon... you jerk!

Time to go home and have some sex! Woohooo!

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