Demolition Man (Movie Review)


In dystopian 1996 Los Angeles, Simon Phoenix kidnaps a bus full of hostages and takes refuge in an abandoned building. LAPD Sergeant John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), better known by his nickname of “Demolition Man,” responds by raiding it, causing extensive collateral damage during their capture process of criminals. Select the best Baltimore Demolition.

Stallone gives his most muscular performance yet in this film, gently poking fun at his tough-guy image through campy humor (such as being forced to knit Huxley a sweater). Additionally, there are explosive battle sequences and natural effects.


In 2032, Simon Phoenix escapes from a cryogenic prison and causes havoc across Los Angeles. LAPD Sergeant John Spartan is unfrozen to bring this criminal to justice; previously a tough-as-nails character, but in this world where violence is no longer tolerated, it’s out of his element; people freely cuss, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and engage in sexual relations openly – breaking rules of a utopian society allows individuals to live life on their terms is illegal.

Stallone and Snipes play off each other perfectly as opposites, making the movie both funny and action-packed at the same time. Furthermore, this is an excellent comeback vehicle for Stallone after some underperforming box office movies.

Demolition Man is an entertaining little sci-fi action movie with a solid satirical undercurrent that’s worthy of watching, particularly if you love Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. Unfortunately, its box office performance wasn’t fantastic, given that its budget was more reasonable; nonetheless, audiences did not show up as they should have.

Cast & Crew

Demolition Man made its debut 30 years ago this summer and set a standard for action comedies to come. Starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes against each other in an anti-crime society featuring both massive explosions and campy humor, the film made waves throughout Hollywood and set itself up as an action classic for years after.

In 1996, LAPD Sergeant John Spartan (Stallone) pursued psychopathic crime lord Simon Phoenix to an abandoned building where he held hostages for ransom. Spartan manages to capture Phoenix while setting off an explosion that destroys the entire structure; unfortunately, he and Phoenix are later arrested for manslaughter and sent into cryo prison; however, they manage to break out after only ten years of frozen sleep.

This film was a modest box office success, although not on par with Lethal Weapon or Die Hard. Starring Sandra Bullock – just beginning her major stardom – it proved ideal casting as Lenina Huxley from SAPD, with both Speed and this performance helping solidify her as one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading ladies.

Stallone excelled at playing tough-guy roles like Rambo and Rocky, and his performance as Spartan certainly fits that mold. But the film gives him an opportunity to showcase his comedic chops as well, often gently poking fun at his macho image; for example, when forced into knitting Huxley a sweater. This was one of many hilarious lines delivered by Stallone throughout his filmography – this time around in Spartan!

Plot & Characters

Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes star in this science fiction action film set in a futuristic society where there is no crime, yet there are still dark corners to its existence. The movie serves as a cautionary tale, reminding viewers to pay attention to their actions and how they affect those around them; it is also an examination of power dynamics within society and our need for it.

The film opens with LAPD Sergeant John Spartan (Stallone), in a dystopian version of 1996 Los Angeles, chasing after Simon Phoenix (Snipes), an outright psychopath whose crimes result in multiple hostages being murdered during their final encounter. Spartan is charged with manslaughter and imprisoned cryogenically before being freed up by 2032 to bring Phoenix to justice.

This movie boasts plenty of action-packed scenes with characters firing guns and leaping through glass windows. The cast is outstanding, and its action sequences are well-choreographed and captivating.

Demolition Man contains several hilariously amusing moments. Spartan’s acknowledgment of his often unwise remarks prior to hostile engagement and Huxley’s misappropriation of catchphrases provide laugh-out-loud moments of comedy, with the movie also boasting thoughtful touches that elevate its storytelling over what would typically be found in an action flick of this type.

The title theme is a heavier remix of Grace Jones’ song recorded and written by Sting during his time fronting the Police, with Elliot Goldenthal (who also worked on Alien 3) providing its score.

Final Words

Demolition Man remains an enjoyable ride despite its flaws. It manages to combine big-budget action with subtle humor in a way few films today can match. Stallone and Snipes work wonderfully together, while its cast features veteran actors like Denis Leary and Benjamin Bratt as well as newcomers such as Sandra Bullock. Plus, it boasts an unforgettable theme song and futuristic cityscapes, which makes this flick stand out.

Leary excels at playing Edgard Friendly, the film’s standout character, who gives an uncomfortably poignant speech that illustrates that not all dystopias are dark places of violence as depicted in books such as Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; dystopia can also be soft and sympathetic as seen in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World utopia.

The film also provides a satirical view of police brutality, showing how society views Cowboy Cops such as Spartan (a law-abiding officer who causes needless collateral damage when arresting criminals) and Simon Phoenix (anarchically destructive crime lord who enjoys harming people), both played by James Franco. Spartan attempts to change this perception by asserting that hurting people “isn’t always bad” before sparring with him and ending with its destruction during their showdown in which all three characters fight over an entire cryo-prison.

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