Movies Worth Rewatching – Demolition Man

This week on Movies Worth Rewatching we’re taking about Sylvester Stallone’s cheesily awesome action-flick Demolition Man (1993, Warner Brothers Pictures)

There are a few select things that Ben and I here on Monster Popcorn completely agree on and Sylvester Stallone being totally awesome is absolutely one of them. On more than one occasion we’ve participated together in mini-marathon’s of Sly’s great, and not so great, filmography. Demolition Man, with all its cheesy charm, manages to always make its way into those marathons time and time again.

I remember watching Demolition Man as a child. Although I was too young to see this R-rated slugfest in the theater, it made regular appearances on home video viewings with my friends and I. I still don’t know how our parents allowed us to watch it (we were 11) but I’m thankful they did because this film is AWESOME.

For those of you unfamiliar, Demolition Man follows our title character (Sylvester Stallone) as he tries to apprehend a murderous crime boss (Wesley Snipes) in a not-so-distant utopian future. The film also stars Sandra Bullock, before she was a household name, and Dennis Leary.

So how does it hold up today?

Demolition Man is a blast to watch! This film harkens to a time almost forgotten where action movies didn’t need major plot twists to get you to watch and fight scenes didn’t involve actors hanging from wires. The practical effects found in the film are huge and fun to watch, never letting the pace of the film slow down. The story is snappy and full of satiric wit, often name dropping pop-culture references that add a surprising realism to the science fiction backdrop of the film. Several times I found myself comparing the fictional world of 2032 to our world today, which was a welcomed, albeit shocking, bonus in rewatching the film today.

However, after all of that, the real reason Demolition Man is worth your time are the many incredibly entertaining performances from the actors in the film. Sylvester Stallone delivers as our action star, as only he can, complete with one-liners, feats of strength and jumping through the air while shooting at bad guys (HECK YEAH!). Wesley Snipes embraces the rare opportunity in his career of playing the villain, delivering a delightfully over-the-top performance that steals our attention, and admiration, scene after scene. The younger, less-established Sandra Bullock we find in Demolition Man is brimming with the adorable charm that made her a leading lady. Her spirited performance is refreshing, bringing so much more than just eye-candy to this action flick. Particularly shocking though was the small, yet integral, appearance of Dennis Leary in a supporting role. His portrayal of the revolutionist Edgar Friendly, using his patented rant-like dialogue, felt more topical than you’d expect from a film old enough to legally buy a drink.

All in all, Demolition Man delivers great action and snappy dialogue. Be careful though, this film earned its R-rating with brief bits of useless nudity and lots of people getting shot. If that’s not a deal breaker, I highly recommend you check this film out, even more so if you’re like me and watched it repeatedly as a child. Demolition Man is available on Blu-ray and DVD and is also available instantly through Netflix streaming. If you’re looking for action-packed entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then Demolition Man is your film.

by Mel Dale

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2 Comments on “Movies Worth Rewatching – Demolition Man”

  1. ciociara May 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    I just like that movie. Stallone is rarely disappointing.

  2. Richard W Scott May 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    One of the most amazing things about this film (and something almost always missed) was that given when it was made (1993), there were two nearly unbelievable coincidences that have to make you wonder. Early on in the film, before John Spartan is defrosted, Lenina Huxley queries the computer to see who was up for parole. Depending upon where you live, you may or may not know that Scott Peterson (who was being reviewed) was an actual murderer here in the San Francisco Bay Area (much later than the film). Also the bit about the Schwarzenegger Museum (for his presidency), while not presaging a true presidential effort, did foreshadow the “Governator’s” holding office in California.

    Another bit not normally noted is this: Lenina Huxley (the name) is an interesting play. In his book “Brave New World” Aldous HUXLEY has a main character named LENINA. I think the writers had a lot of fun with this movie.

    I agree about the re-watchablity of this film. It’s right up there on my list of to-watch often movies with “Princess Bride”, “Zero Effect”, “Equilbrium”, “Primer” and “Memento”.

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