August 13, 2003

Demolition Man

demolitionman.jpgI didn't much like this movie. Except when I did. Sylvester Stallone stars as cop, John "demolition man" Spartan, so called for his tendency to destroy buildings in the process of catching bad guys. Wesley Snipes plays Simon Phoenix, a wacky psychopath who wouldn't be out of place in a Batman story. Spartan catches Phoenix, but lets the hostages die, so both of them are sentenced to a long sentence of being frozen. Fast-forward forty years and the world has outgrown violence in exchange for a goofy disneyesque rated G culture. Every swear word occasions a fine, and everything that's bad for you is illegal, and yet somehow this has all resulted in a complete lack of crime. Sorry, I'm trying to make the nonsensical make sense. Phoenix escapes from prison and goes on a rampage. Spartan is thawed out in the hopes that he can catch the 20th century psycho. Additional complication comes from Sandra Bullock playing Lt. Lenina Huxley, a bored police officer who pines for the good old days when there was action and adventure. There's also Denis Leary playing a rebel forces leader kind of guy named Edgar Friendly who, it turns out the benevolent dictator has programmed Simon Phoenix to kill.

No, it doesn't make any more sense when you're watching it. The movie has about as much cohesion as a smashed piece of safety glass. There's all these bits, but none of them fit together. Some of the bits are pretty good. Bullock plays her saccharine-sweet character in a charmingly goofy way that makes you expect her to break into uncontrollable giggles at any moment. Leary gets a few good lines in. Snipes is so over the top that "over the top" doesn't even begin to describe it. Unfortunately his character is so nasty that it's hard to enjoy his performance. Sly is Sly. The script tries to poke fun at the action movie genre, but mostly just makes fun of itself. And not in a good way.

Posted by jeffy at August 13, 2003 10:33 PM