1-6 - Movie Review: DEMOLITION MANWarner Bros.
1993
R

“Well I must say that whacking, whatever it is, sounds most disagreeable.”

In 2032, archcriminal Simon Phoenix awakens from a 35-year deep freeze in CryoPrison to find a serene, non-violent Los Angeles ready for the taking. Unable to deal with Phoenix’s brutal 1990s style, officials seek an old-fashioned cop to fight old-fashioned crime. They revive Sgt. John Spartan, unjustly serving a CryoPrison sentence because of his last encounter with Phoenix.

Demolition Man was another movie I skipped out on watching until just recently, due to the fact that burnout of action movies starring the Big Two action movie stars of that era – namely, Arnold Schwarzeneger and Sylvester Stalone – had started to set in. Didn’t matter if the subgenre was sci-fi or not; at this time I was a bit tired of those blockbuster types that were ig on ‘splosions and half-baked characters relying on cheesy one-liners as a stand-in for witty engaging banter. Didn’t swear off of them, obviously, just got burned out on them. And Demolition Man looked like one of those kind of movies.

And so, here we are twenty years later, and I’ve finally gotten around to watching Demolition Man. This was mainly due to a discussion had with the Exalted Geeks involving something called the “three shell system”, apparently referenced in this movie. SO, curiosity and peer pressure from the Coven got the best of me, and I located a copy and brought myself up to speed.

First impressions – yes, Demolition Man is, indeed, a mindless sci-fi action flick, one that revels in its cheesy-ness. Everyone’s acting seems to be stuck on “Over-The-Top”, with Wesley Snipes chewing all of the scenery in general. But then, after a bit, I began wondering: What if Demolition Man was really secretly going for satire? Like, the over-the-top testosterone heavy sci-fi action ‘splosion movie was a sly commentary on…something, kind of like Robocop? I mean, Sandra Bullock’s character is a play on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Taco Bell winning the “fast food wars”? But, maybe they were trying a bit too hard, as I’m convinced that Denis Leary was included just to do his angry rant standup that was word-for-word off of the No Cure For Cancer album that was released earlier that year.

In the end, though, Demolition Man worked best as a comedy / action / sci-fi flick that didn’t seem to take itself too seriously. And as such, is probably best experienced with a bunch of like-minded individuals who get that kind of thing.

Now, if anyone can please explain to me the “Three Shell” rule?

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