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the pathetic caverns - movies by title - Demolition Man

eclectic reviews and opinions

Demolition Man

1993, D: Marco Brambilla, S: Daniel Waters, Robert Reneau, Peter M. Lenkov

The plot of this Sly Stallone/Wesley Snipes matchoff is so color-by-numbers that I feel no compunctions about giving it away completely, so I will. The architect of a repressive, dystopian society wants justification for escalating the level of mind control, so he resurrects a frozen anarchist (Snipes, in a role he should have found insulting) to stir up trouble. A bumbling police chief, unable to cope with the 20th century man's savagery, retaliates by unfreezing notorious savage cop John Spartan (Stallone) and assigns Sandra Bullock to watch over him. A bunch of explosions and one really stupid car chase later, Stallone narrowly manages to best the bad guy, expose the plot, and collapse the future society. Duh ...

So why, you ask, did I bother to watch this, let alone review it? Well, it did have some nice little touches. Sandra Bullock was goofily charming as the cop unexpectedly charmed by the shocking machismo of the brutal man from the past. The viewer expects that, obviously, but you could tell her character didn't. Some of the set design was nice. I especially liked the floating flat-screen TVs that swivel to face whoever they're talking to, and the upscale future Taco Bell -- interesting product placement. Dennis Leary had a pleasantly manic monologue in his otherwise perfunctory role as the scruffy, but noble-hearted revolutionary, and the requisite dumb future slang provided some joy-joy yuks that were at least plusgood. And hey, it was much better than Judge Dredd.

[I won't actually dignify Judge Dredd with a review, but I will tell you about the only good bit in the movie, which is an exceedingly odd case of product placement. There's this robot that trundles through the tenements of Mega City One, see, and you have to hear this next bit in a grating mechanical slo-o-o-wed down 1950's robot type of voice. "Eat recycled food," it intones, over and over again. "It's good for the environment, and okay for you." On top of the robot, a Coors Beer logo spins around and around. Recycled beer, eh? I may never again see someone drinking Coors without thinking of this scene.]

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