Demolition Man is a fun ride and one of Stallone’s better entries in the 1990s second maybe to Cop Land and just ahead of Cliffhanger. One can’t discount Wesley Snipes who to that point had been the hero and takes a fun villainous turn with an over-the-top performance that matched up well with Stallone’s macho personality.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action
Warner Bros. | R – 115 min. – $19.99 | August 16, 2011
Directed by: Marco Brambilla
Writer(s): Peter M. Lenkov and Robert Reneau (story), Daniel Waters and Robert Reneau and Peter M. Lenkov (screenplay)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock
Theatrical Release Date: October 8, 1993
Features: Commentary, Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 22.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): Region Free
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
In 2032 arch-criminal Simon Phoenix (WESLEY SNIPES) awakens from a 35-year deep freeze in CryoPrision to find a serene, non-violent Los Angeles ready for the taking. Unable to deal with Phoenix’s brutal 1990s style, officials seek an old-fashioned cop to fight old-fashioned crime. They revive Sgt. John Spartan (SYLVESTER STALLONE), unjustly serving a CryoPrison sentence because of his last encounter with Phoenix.
The third in my 4-part Stallone review, Demolition Man is probably the best of the bunch and the most resilient especially considering it takes place now only 21 years in the future (2042) and unlike most futuristic films, this one is actually a tad more reasonable in terms of the technology (and I guess even the societal changes such as banning anything that is bad for you…).
Anyway, I mentioned in my Assassins review that there are three tiers of Stallone movies and this one firmly belongs at top of the second tier; it’s one hell of an entertaining ride with a good balance of action and humor, thanks in fair part to Wesley Snipes who was having the time of his life. For his part, Sylvester Stallone plays up his macho personality that we’ve seen in previous films not named Rocky or Cop Land, and while his Sgt. John Spartan isn’t anything special, it’s still a fun character who matches up very well with Snipes’ psychotic personality. Then you add in Sandra Bullock still basking in her star-turning role in 1994’s Speed and you’ve got a good cast of actors. This also includes Denis Leary, who, as in many of his numerous roles in 1990s and early 2000s, is cast for his fast-talking, wise-ass cracking style and here he gets one long rant to showcase it.
All in all, Demolition Man is a fun action-filled extravaganza. The duel between Stallone and Snipes, although not entirely memorable, is still entertaining as is Snipes’ over-the-top performance. The comedy is well done however the one running jokes about the three seashells, albeit funny early on, doesn’t quite hit the mark for the final line of dialogue. Still, the production design by David L. Snyder is fantastic in not going overboard with the futuristic designs keeping things realistic and functional that within 21 years one can imagine the technology evolving (see: auto-driven vehicles); I’m still quite pissed at Back to the Future Part II since, by this point, flying vehicles and hover-boards should almost the norm…
In any case, if for whatever reason you still haven’t checked this film out, give it a shot, it’s well worth your time.
Demolition Man was helmed by Italian-born/Canadian resident director Marco Brambilla who only directed one other feature film in Excess Baggage (epitome of an average film) but has since apparently set aside directing for photography projects. The story is credited to Peter M. Lenkov (writer on “CSI: NY” and developed the new “Hawaii Five-0” series) and Robert Reneau (Action Jackson and since has nothing to his credit) with additional screenplay work by Daniel Waters (Hudson Hawk, Batman Returns).
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
The feature commentary with Director Marco Brambilla and Producer Joel Silver and the Theatrical Trailer (2:06; SD) has been ported over from the DVD release.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Demolition Man thaws out of cryo-sleep and lands on Blu-ray high-definition with a good looking 2.40 original aspect ratio. The picture is finely detailed and sharp while the color array is also evenly spread without looking oversaturated or pumped up. As with the other Stallone Blu-ray releases, this transfer is void of the flaws that can crop up in older transfers; there are dust marks or scratches yet still has a fine amount of natural film grain and noise, so it doesn’t look like Warner went the DNR route.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The disc comes equipped with a robust DTS-HD MA 5.1 track that especially showcases the variety of action scenes while the few quieter, dialogue driven moments comes across nicely as well. The depth level for this track is also half decent and provides for a fun in-home theater experience.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, Demolition Man is a fun ride and one of Stallone’s better entries in the 1990s second maybe to Cop Land and just ahead of Cliffhanger. One can’t discount Wesley Snipes who to that point had been the hero and takes a fun villainous turn with an over-the-top performance that matched up well with Stallone’s macho personality. In regards to the Blu-ray, both the video and audio are worth the upgrade and given Warner’s price-to-sell SRP, in no time you’ll be able to nab it for under $10.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out more screen caps on page 2.