Demolition Man (1993) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

 Two thumbs up for one of Stallone's few non-Balboa performances worth cheering

Scoop's notes

"Jeffrey Dahmer? I love that guy!"

And, critics be damned, I love this movie!

This futuristic action/comedy/drama wasn't the best action movie in the world, or the best drama, but it shines as a comedy. It is truly an entertaining cartoon. It has two great strengths.

1. A tongue-in-cheek view of the future in which political correctness has grown to be pandemic. There is no unpleasantness, but the world has also banned anything that is bad for us, therefore just about anything that is fun. Meat is gone, and salt, and cigarettes, and booze, and sex, and cussing, and contact sports ... you get the picture. The whole thing is just plain silly.

  • Taco Bell is the only restaurant left, because they won the "franchise wars". In the future, all restaurants will be Taco Bell. Of course, without cheese and meat and sour cream, that won't be much fun.
  • The future "oldies" will consist of 20th century commercial jingles.
  • Stallone, brought into the future from the 20th century, can't figure out how to use the toilets, and there's no toilet paper. But there are ubiquitous machines that issue instant citations for naughty language, so Stallone lets loose with a torrent of raunchy phrases, thus being issued enough paper citations to use as toilet tissue.
  • Best of all, the Los Angeles/San Diego area has become a separate society from the rest of the planet, and they don't even care what happens outside of Southern California. Hey, wait a minute. That's no different from now.
  • In addition to being a police officer, Sandra Bullock is a student of 20th century cultural history. She does her research at the Schwarzenegger Library. It seems that Arnold became President after the 61st amendment allowed naturalized citizens to hold the office. It appears that he is dead in 2032, and will not "be back". (Given some decent luck and medical advances, Arnold may well still be alive in 2032.) Bullock, speaking 20th century slang based on what she read in books, therefore speaking it as a foreign language imperfectly understood, keeps getting the terminology wrong:
  • "Wow, you really licked their asses!"
  •  "No, that's 'kicked' their asses".
  • "I guess they will match their meat".
  • "Um ... that's 'meet their match'".

2. Wesley Snipes plays a hilarious over-the-top comic book villain, a man who hurts people just for the sheer joy of it, and who exults in being bad. Snipes is a 20th century criminal (or maybe I should say a criminal from 20th century comic books) who is defrosted from cryo in the 21st century, where he reigns unchallenged over a world of wimps. Stallone is a rogue 20th century cop who is defrosted to combat Snipes because the wimpozoid people in the future need someone just as ruthless and violent as the criminal.

At one point Snipes decides to defrost other 20th century mass murderers to join him in his ruthless takeover of the future. His best line: "Jeffrey Dahmer? I love that guy!" (Dahmer was still alive when the movie was made.)

No, it's not the best drama or the best action picture or the most imaginative sci-fi, and it never takes itself seriously enough to derive any moral currency from its conception of the future, but it is pretty damned funny. Sandra is a terrific comedienne, and even Stallone has a certain deadpan way with an ironic line. As we often do with films we like, I simply overlooked its many flaws, sat back, and enjoyed it. Besides, how can you not love a film with Jesse Ventura and Nigel Hawthorne in the same cast?



  • There are two versions, widescreen anamorphic (2.35) and full screen. Unfortunately, the full screen side is a pan 'n scan version, not a full neg.

  • There is a full-length commentary track. (Producer and director)



Brandy Sanders (aka Brandy Ledford) appeared topless on a TV/phone screen.

Tuna's notes

Demolition Man (1993) is billed as a Science Fiction/Thriller/Crime film. If I believed that for a moment, I would be writing a very different review. This is a comedy, pure and simple, and may be Sylvester Stallone's best performance. The film starts in the near future, with ultraviolent supercop Stallone going after arch psycho killer Wesley Snipes. While he takes Snipes into custody, he blows up a building in the process, living up to his nickname, and the hostages he was looking for are found dead in the building. Snipes is sentenced to cryo-incarceration, but so is Stallone, for the death of the hostages.

Years later, after the 'big earthquake" in a new ultra PC society, Snipes escapes at a parole hearing. Cop Sandra Bullock suggests defrosting Stallone to catch Snipes. Bullock, who was  awarded an undeserved Razzie nomination, was a 20th century groupie, and about to perish from boredom working as a cop in a society where saying damn was serious crime. She and Stallone team up to chase Snipes. Her use of 20th century slang is hilarious. Snipes was deliciously over the top. There was also an underground society, who lived literally underground, to add a little breadth to the plot.

The Critics Vote

  • James Berardinelli 1.5/4.

The People Vote ...

  • It was a moderate hit, grossing $58 million.


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a solid C (both reviewers). Scoop says, "A fun movie. A solid comic book film (even if not actually based on a comic book). Don't expect complex characterizations or a tightly reasoned view of the future. It's just big, splashy popcorn fun, and is a pretty good comedy, even though the serious stuff sometimes falls flat." Tuna says, "Rent this expecting a comedy, and I think you will enjoy it."

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