Time: 110 mins.
Genre: Action/Science Fiction
While certainly not the worst film Stallone made in the 90s, there isn't much about this futuristic action flick to recommend. Bullock must have thought she hit the mother load by landing the female lead, and while she shows the intelligence and spunk that would become her trademark, I wouldn't exactly call this a career-making coup. The basic plot has two bad-asses from the past one a nasty criminal (Snipes), the other a renegade cop (Stallone) wreaking havoc in a future devoid of violence. The worst crimes cops of the future, played by Bullock and Bratt, deal with are parking tickets and bad language. When the psychopath Simon Phoenix escapes from the cryo-prison, they have no choice but to thaw out the cro-magnon cop who put him away the first time around. The "humor" comes in as Stallone attempts to understand the new millennium while trying to recapture Phoenix. All restaurants are owned by Taco Bell (who must have paid handsomely for the pleasure of this gag) and all people are imbedded with identification chips. There's no cash and no weapons. Except in the museum as historical relics. (Funny, huh?)
Apparently, San Angeles (a merger of LA, San Diego and Santa Barbara) was "saved" by Dr. Cocteau (Hawthorne), who created this supposedly utopian world of peace, love and uniformity. Those who like to think for themselves are forced underground to fend for themselves and fight against the system. Like most leaders, Cocteau is none too happy with dissenters and frees Phoenix in an effort to destroy them once and for all. Unfortunately, his puppet is harder to control than he thought and San Angeles quickly begins to resemble a war zone. Stallone is the one man capable of stopping Phoenix and uncovering the mystery behind his sudden release. The plot tries to be intellectual, exploring the dangers of a utopian society, however, the obvious humor and painful one-liners ruin any hope for a deep debate. The dialogue relies too much on retro references (that can't have been funny in 1993, not to mention a decade later), instead of building deeper characters and story background.
Thankfully, Stallone and Snipes have the physical presence to make the festivities fairly fun. Their mano e mano, gun-toting, explosion-heavy battles are the best part of this film. In fact, Snipes performance as a downright wicked son of a bitch almost makes DEMOLITION MAN worth seeking out. He creates a bad guy you won't soon forget. For his part, Stallone actually gives one of his better performances, but that's not saying much. He and Bullock are pretty cute together, adding some sexiness and silliness to the testosterone-laden plot. Though her role is somewhat cartoony, she keeps up with the boys, stealing some scenes and proving her future star power. Truth be told, this film kept me interested enough to stick with it to the end. An amusing action flick that delivers enough punch to offset the poorly evolved script and tired jokes.