Saturday, 13 November 2010

Film Review: DEMOLITION MAN (1993)

Director: Marco Brambilla
Running time: 110 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 12th November 1993

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 13th November 2010.


This has always been one of my favourite guilty pleasures, a sci-fi action thriller from the nineties featuring Stallone and Snipes. Lots of violence tempered with, it has to be said, a great deal of humour. Yes, I love the scene with the three sea shells… who wouldn’t? Anyhow, I digress… Here’s a short summary before I let you know what I really think (summary haters, the next paragraph really isn’t for you… trust me, you won’t like it).

The year is 1996 and after cop, John Spartan, destroys yet another building while pursuing psychopath Simon Phoenix, he is sent to be cryogenically frozen along with his prisoner. We then skip to 2032 where a utopian society has grown up along the West coast of America after an enormous earthquake destroyed much of it in 2010 (mmm soon then…). This society is lead by Dr. Raymond Cocteau who has created his own vision of what society should be like, and it’s pretty lame! An underground group lead by one Edgar Friendly survives outside this society in the sewers under the city. Into this world the psychopath Simon Phoenix escapes cryo-prison with all the skills he needs to survive in this future world already downloaded into his brain while he was frozen. He immediately goes on a killing spree which leaves the Police, lead by Chief George Earle, unable to cope. The last murder was decades ago! At the suggestion of 20th Century fanatic, and cop, Lenina Huxley, they release John Spartan to track Phoenix down. Unfortunately, the Demolition Man lives up to his reputation and there is much more mayhem in the offing for the seemingly hapless police force.

I really love the humour in this film, Wesley Snipes over-the-top performance and Stallone’s stone-faced delivery are really enjoyable to watch. In fact, really good performances all round, particularly from; Sylvester Stallone as John Spartan, Wesley Snipes as Simon Phoenix and Sandra Bullock as Lenina Huxley. Honourable mentions must also go to; Nigel Hawthorne as Dr. Raymond Cocteau, Benjamin Bratt as Alfredo Garcia, Bob Gunton as Chief George Earle, Glenn Shadix as Associate Bob and Denis Leary as Edgar Friendly.

This film is never going to tax the old grey matter too much, but I always find its good fun to watch. There is some good stunt work and some reasonable special effects, but I think it’s the vision of the possible future I find most intriguing. As I may have already mentioned, I like the humour, but don’t be fooled, there is plenty of violence to be had as well (definitely not a chick-flick). Recommended… But I still have one question… How the hell do you use the three sea shells?

My score: 7.2/10

IMDb Page: