Demolition Man (1993) Directed by Marco Brambilla. With Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Nigel Hawthorne, Benjamin Bratt, Bob Gunton, Glenn Shadix and Denis Leary.
The joy of Demolition Man stems not from its overblown, tinnitus-inducing action sequences, but the sheer fun its amiable cast have with the premise of two violent 1990’s relics (Stallone and Snipes) being transplanted thirty-some years into a peaceful future, in which the worst crimes are graffiti and bad language.
After two poorly-received attempts to break into the comedy genre in the early ’90’s, namely, Oscar (1991) and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), it’s pleasing to see Sylvester Stallone mocking his action man status in a film that gives him the license to embrace the physical action stuff, while enabling a wry nod-wink to the audience.
Set in the year 2032, the film finds a balanced tone of action and comedy, by using the idea of a utopian future as a platform for its knowing humour. This is a film in which each actor gets the joke, and moreover, has a great time telling it. Sandra Bullock plays a great line of enthusiastic naivety – a role that occupied by a lesser intelligence, could easily have wound up irritating. As it stands, Bullock is a joy. Speaking of joy, Wesley Snipes revels in hamming it up as the villain of the piece, Simon Phoenix. Snipes prowls the sets like Jack Nicholson’s Joker, chewing up the scenery.
Demolition Man is a confident action comedy that achieves everything it sets out to. It gets the best out of the future premise, and its actors. An underground rebellion sub-plot strays a little off-track, and the action isn’t as much fun as the dialogue, but the better elements hold up strong enough to carry any excess baggage. Now, can someone please explain those three shells!? 3.5/5