Saturday, August 28, 2010

bad/awesome flixxx review: Demolition Man (1993)

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

"Rat? This is a rat burger? ...Not bad."- John Spartan

"But there's just one thing I wanna know... How's that damn three seashell thing work?"- John Spartan

A truely bad/awesome flick, 1993 brought us a summer blockbuster loosely based on ideas from Aldous Huxley's novel, BRAVE NEW WORLD. Yet another future cop flick, this was the first flick that popped up yesterday when I loaded Netflix onto my IPhone. What a killer choice! Starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, & Sandra Bullock w/ Denis Leary, Rob Schneider, and cameos by Jack Black, and Jesse "the Body" Ventura, I'm proud today to review DEMOLITION MAN!

Wow! I'm surprised how this holds up. The basic story is that in 1996, shit is hitting the fan. Drug gangs run the city of Los Angeles, and they have the whole city sectioned off. One of the toughest and meanest is Simon Phoenix (Snipes). He's been pursued for over 2 years by John Spartan (Stallone) a cop who has the nickname "the Demolition Man" because the blows shit up from time to time when catching bad dudes. He finally catches Phoenix, but is framed for involuntarily murdering 20 or so kids on a bus. They both get thrown into this new cryogenic jail facility, Phoenix forever, and Spartan for 70 years. Fast forward to 2032... Phoenix is up for parole, and somehow he has the knowledge to escape. He is awakened into a society that is unfamiliar to violence because after "the big one" (an earthquake that destroyed most of old LA and killed millions in 2010) the cities Santa Barbara, LA, and San Diego were combined into a giant utopian city built on peace. No "murder death kills" (no one has died besides anything but natural causes) have happened since the earthquake. So when Phoenix comes out and starts murdering everyone, the cops have no idea what to do. Lenina Huxley (Bullock) and an old cop named Zach Lamb suggest bringing the only man to ever bring Phoenix to justice back outta his icy snooze. Blah, Blah, Blah... they do it, and immediately Spartan is disgusted by what he sees. He calls the way they live their lives "fascist" and says it makes him wanna puke.

But here is why I find the movie great. There are a lot of funny ideas in it. Example number #1- in this future society, everything that's deemed bad for you is deemed illegal. So everything from cursing to salt, to alcohol, contact sports, meat, chocolate, uneducational toys, gasoline, anything spicy, abortion, or even having a baby without a license. Even when Huxley asks Spartan if he wants to have sex, he starts getting ready, and she comes out and puts a helmet on his head. When he suggests they do it the "old fashioned" way, she's like, "what, you mean the exchange of bodily fluids??" Then there's the idea of being fined for cursing out loud. There are sensors that are chiming throughout the whole movie..."John Spartan, you are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute." Then there's the 3 shells in the shitter. Spartan can't figure it out. They laugh at him and the idea that "in the 20th century they used wads of paper..." I've always thought that idea was amazing. And finally, the funniest one to me was the idea of the Franchise wars. they only mention this once, but there's a scene where this dude asked to take some of the characters to dinner at "taco bell". And he looks as if he's very pleased with himself. Spartan is like, "uh... ok." Then Huxley explains that after the franchise wars, only one restaurant was left. "Now all restaurants are Taco Bell." and that's it. It only leaves you wondering... WTF? What happened? I would love it if there were franchise wars. Do you think the fry cooks would all get raises? or at least some battle helmets? There's so many very subtle references and critiques on modern society and free will here that if you aren't quick, you might miss, and chalk this up to just another shitty action movie. Sinister heads of state think they are doing the right thing by building a "better" society, but in reality are demonizing the poor, and trying to get rid of them altogether! They are after the "Scraps" who are just poor people living in the sewers and ruins of old LA who want to live "free" and are trying not to starve to death. Heavy shit man! much deeper than your typical action flick.
What else? Sting redid the old Police song, "Demolition Man" for the end credits, and its hilarious. I think I may have finally found a rating system to use. I should use the Demolition Man "3 shells" system to rate movies. 1 shell is total shit. 2 shells rides the line between total shit, and totally awesome, and 3 shells is a perfect wipe!
this one is 3 shells. ah fuckit, that's too confusing. I recommend it, and its now on netflix instant. word up.

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