Apr 11, 2009

Demolition Man

One cannot assess the amount of ludicrous fun that Demolition Man serves up with a steady stream of off-the-wall costumes and set designs. The titular showdown depicted on the poster is the basis of plot development. A deranged police officer played by Stallone in an eerily foreshadowing of Judge Dredd fashion, squares against a bleach blond Wesley Snipes who borrows a Joker-esque attitude and exchanges fashion tips with the Super Mario Bros. This explosive dystopian film echoes the greatest aesthetics of 90s science fiction action and manages to provide some great satire that, as depressing as it is, wasn't created with a light-hearted sentiment. Rather, Demolition Man is a goofy film that takes the insolence of an amateur and creates a new breed of schlock entertainment.

In my time observing the "cult" effects of 90s cinema, I've become overwrought with the lack of recognition picked up by Demolition Man. For being a purveyor of cheese, explosions, and utopia-shattering multicultural mayhem, Demolition Man has raked none of the profits and has even been reduced beyond bargain bin fodder as a copy of this auspicious masterpiece is relatively scarce in both supply and demand. The older this film gets, the more realized the science fiction aspects become. Far from eventual reality, of course, but nonetheless something that could come to be expectant of a future of tomorrow seeing as how this society has orphaned anything considered hazardous to any extent. Also, I think we can all agree that Taco Bell winning the franchise wars is easily one of the most insightful and resourceful prophecies to every have been preached on celluloid. Thought it is a shame that this scene was removed from most foreign releases of the 1993 classic and replaced with Pizza Hut. At least we still have the one-liners in place. Those quips are the jewelry that adorn this diamond-encrusted crown.

Every film should have a special assignment and I don't use the term "assignment" with utmost authority. Demolition Man takes a special mission of ridiculing social commentary as a whole and the experience for me, third time around, resulted in my inebriated self howling with patriotic excitement when all-American John Spartan commented on a delicious looking rat burger. Playing the lead of the "Scraps," Denis Leary turns a role as a vagrant by the name of Edgar Friendly, whom Simon Phoenix (Snipes) has been defrosted to exterminate by a corrupt cleric who runs the megatopia of what used to be Los Angeles and co. In this society where free will has been silenced along with swearing, sodium, and sex, John Spartan is resurrected to battle Simon Phoenix who has rocked the city to the core as the last incident of violence was many years before. In a humorous turn of events, you discover that the cops aren't equipped to handle insubordination and Spartan's nickname of "Demolition Man" is soon elaborated on many shells later.

For me, action film has three faces: Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Mickey Rourke. Without any of these American role models, my childhood would have been sheltered and dreary without that certain propagandized market for cable television viewers. It's films like Die Hard, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Harley Davidson & The Marlboro Man, Judge Dredd, and Demolition Man that made running home off the bus in time to catch the ending to one of these great flicks so worth it. It's pure, collected nostalgia in form of dated special effects backed with amazing performances so washed up in their own 90s visage that it's damn near impossible to appreciate such roles as Wesley Snipes' chaos adoring Phoenix who must have been inspiration for Heath Ledger's Joker character.

The two names Spartan and Phoenix is a clever clashing of the old school and the new school. We got the warrior who mates and kills and that's the only code in his nature whereas Phoenix is reborn from his metaphorical ashes in hopes to create chaos. With technology and limitless product and combat knowledge, it's a classic example of brute force pitted against an evil of the tactical kind. Demolition Man is easily one of the last great true-blue "versus" films that revolves around man against foe, regardless of which way the alignment compass faces. Maybe I'm putting too much thought in it - or maybe you're too blind to absorb top-notch entertainment at the expense of nothing but your own naivety. Who couldn't enjoy such a charming blockbuster as this. That's a rhetorical question so there is no need to answer it. Simon says, "Enjoy."



Keith said...

I haven't seen this movie in ages. I know most people I know hated it, but I actually enjoyed it. They don't make movies like this much anymore.

Anonymous said...

Another great review. I think this might be my favorite of all that I've read to date, actually. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of this flick. Kudos, my man!!!

the jaded viewer said...

And the dialogue dude. So frakin funny.

"Mellow greetings. What seems to be your boggle?"

Slayton said...

Mouth exchange! Unthinkable!

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Nigel Hawthorn was British and a faggot there-fore he was a double pile of shit.