In honor of the upcoming Sylvester Stallone action extravaganza, this is The Expendables week. Our first star from the Expendables is Sylvester Stallone. Demolition Man is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: Demolition Man (1993) – Rated R for non-stop action violence (I love that reason!) and for strong language.
“In the violent 1990s, a cop (Sylvester Stallone) catches a relentless killer (Wesley Snipes), and both end up in a cryogenic deep freeze. In the peaceful year 2032, the criminal emerges from his long chill and attacks the now crimeless California. Unable to stop the bloodshed, a “Big Brother” boss (Nigel Hawthorne) defrosts the murderers past nemesis, who struggles to adapt to the ways of a new world and a restless new partner (Sandra Bullock).”
“Dont you think…” – “I try not to – however you are young, think all you want.”
“We are police officers. We are not trained to handle this level of violence.”
Not only is this movie a guilty pleasure but it begins with a guilty pleasure. The opening sequence begins with a shot of the Hollywood sign on fire. We then track over south central L.A. under siege and our hero, John Spartan bungee jumps from a helicopter down to a rooftop.
There are a number of logical flaws in the script. The most prominent one occurs almost immediately. It is silly to think that the police could not reason out that the hostages had already been killed after discovering their bodies.
Sylvester Stallone is not only a good hero here but he also has good comic timing. He really sells the physicality of the action hero as well as the primitiveness of his methods. All this and he has the second most awesome main character name, John Spartan! (top prize still goes to Hiro Protagonist).
Wesley Snipes plays Simon Phoenix. He is absolutely gleeful in the role. Stallone wanted Jackie Chan for the role but Chan does not play villains. Snipes is a fifth degree Black Belt in Shotokan karate and studies kung fu and Capoeira. The director had to have Snipes slow down many of his moves in the film so that they could be seen.
Sandra Bullock has an early role here as a future policeman fascinated with the 20th century. She is as lovable here as she is in most of her roles. The following year Bullock would get her big break in Speed.
Comedian Denis Leary has a small but vital role. He plays Edgar Friendly, a rebel leader, and he has a hilarious Leary-esque monologue. His TV series, Rescue Me just became available on instant Netflix.
Benjamin Bratt appears as a policeman – he would later costar again with Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. Rob Schneider also appears as a policeman and would later appear with Stallone in Judge Dredd.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Jack Black both appear in blink-and-you-will-miss-them roles and the voice of the computer is Adrienne Barbeau.
Product placement is hilariously rampant though not to the level of Waynes World. John Spartan requests Marlboros by name and Simon smokes them as well. Taco Bell actually features prominently in the plot and all of those sequences are hysterical.
The vision of the future given to us by the writers is not only filled with action but also pretty humorous. While there is a lot of language and violence that is at times grotesque, the humor is actually quite light-hearted in nature. This is not the dark sardonic future of Paul Verhoeven.
I heartily recommend this tongue-in-cheek futuristic romp – both for the action and the humor.
People Watch: Other Stallone films currently available on instant Netflix are Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Cobra, Tango & Cash, Rocky V, Get Carter, and Eye See You. As you can see there are quite a number of Stallone options.