Wednesday, August 18, 2010

'Demolition Man' delivers action and satire

Demolition Man (1993)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sandra Bullock, and Wesley Snipes
Director: Marco Brambilla
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

When a psychotic killer (Snipes) is released from suspended animation into a utopian Southern Californian society some 40 in the future where violence is virtually unknown, John Spartan (Stallone) a renegade 1990s cop, who is almost as violent and only slightly less blood-thirsty, is also awaked from stasis to stop him. Together with a dorky future cop (Bullock), he sets about hunting the mad killer before he destroys peaceful, if ludicrous, future society.

"Demolition Man" is a goofy sci-fi satire that pokes an equal amount of fun at action films, sci-fi movies, and the way Californians liked to think of themselves during the 1980s and early 1990s. It's a movie that knows it's silly and that revels in its silliness, from its over-the-top and violent action scenes to the extreme politically correct society of San Angeles. (Personally, I think this film has such a bad reputation because some of the social satire hit a bit too close to home for some of the Hollywood types and those who like to write about and hang out with them.)

The film's got a fun script that gives Wesley Snipes free reign as a truly evil bad guy, lets Stallone play the cartoony action hero he's best at, and has Bullock shining in a very funny part where she gets to present a slightly different spin on the "beautiful nerd" character she's best known for. (She even gets to be quite a bit sexier here than she is in many of her films, even while being howlingly funny.)

This movie is great fun, and it's one of the best movies that either Snipes or Stallone have appeared in. Heck, it might even be the career high for Snipes.

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