Demolition Man (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Marco Brambilla|
|Music by||Elliot Goldenthal|
|Edited by||Stuart Baird|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$159.1 million|
Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla in his directorial debut. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The film was released in the United States on October 8, 1993.
The film tells the story of two men: an evil crime lord and a risk-taking police officer. Cryogenically frozen in 1996, they are restored to life in the year 2032 to find mainstream society changed and all crime seemingly eliminated.
In 1996, psychopathic career criminal Simon Phoenix kidnaps a number of hostages and takes refuge with his gang in an abandoned building. LAPD Sgt. John Spartan uses a thermal scan of the building and finds no trace of the hostages, and leads an unauthorized assault to capture Phoenix. When he is captured, Phoenix sets off a series of explosives that bring down the building, and when the police search the wreckage, they find the corpses of the hostages. Spartan is charged with manslaughter, and he is incarcerated along with Phoenix in the city's new "California Cryo-Penitentiary", where they will be cryogenically frozen. During their time "in deep freeze", they are to be rehabilitated through subconscious conditioning.
During their incarceration, the "Great Earthquake" leads the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara to merge into a single metropolis under the name San Angeles. The city becomes a utopia run under the pseudo-pacifist guidance and control of the envangelistic Dr. Raymond Cocteau, where human behavior is tightly controlled. In 2032, Phoenix is woken for a parole hearing, but he finds he somehow knows the access codes to the security systems, and is able to escape the prison and begins wreaking havoc on the city. The police, having not dealt with violent crime for many years, are unable to handle Phoenix and opt to wake Spartan and enlist his help. Spartan is assigned to Lieutenant Lenina Huxley to help with reclamation to the future, which he finds depressing. Others on the police force find his behavior brutish and uncivilized, though Huxley, who is fascinated by the lifestyles of the late 20th century, helps Spartan to overcome this, and the two grow close, despite the limitations on displays of public affection.
They attempt to stop Phoenix from stealing 20th century weapons from a museum display, but Phoenix manages to escape. Phoenix encounters Dr. Cocteau during his escape, and though he tries to shoot him, finds himself unable to find. Dr. Cocteau calmly asks Phoenix to assassinate Edgar Friendly, the leader of the resistance group called the Scraps that fight against Cocteau's rule, and allows Phoenix to bring other criminals out of cryo-sleep to help at his request. Meanwhile, Spartan and Huxley review the cryo-prison records and find that instead of the normal rehabilitation program, Phoenix had been given the information necessary for his escape by Cocteau directly. They also discover information directing Phoenix towards Friendly, and go off to warn him.
At the Scraps underground base, Friendly is initially distrustful but Spartan is able to convince him of the threat and takes sympathy in their cause given what he has seen above ground. When Phoenix and his gang attack, Spartan and the Scraps ward off the attack, leading to a car chase between Spartan and Phoenix. During the chase, Phoenix taunts Spartan by revealing that he had killed the hostages before Spartan had arrived in 1996. Phoenix escapes while Spartan comes to terms that he had been wrongly charged with the crime. Meanwhile, Friendly and the Scraps work with the police to try to help stop Phoenix and his gang of cryo-cons.
Phoenix returns to Dr. Cocteau with his gang, and as the rehabilitation programming prevents him from killing Cocteau, orders one of his gang to do so. Spartan and Huxley arrive soon after, finding that Phoenix has already left to release more prisoners. Spartan enters the prison alone to fight Phoenix, engages in a violent fight that ravages the facility, and eventually uses the cryogenic chemical to freeze Phoenix before shattering him. Spartan escapes the prison before it explodes and regroups with the police and the Scraps. The police fear the loss of Cocteau will send their society into a downward spiral, but Spartan suggests that they and the Scraps work together to recreate a society that returns some of the personal freedoms that were lost. He then kisses Huxley and the two go off together.
- Sylvester Stallone as Sergeant John Spartan
- Wesley Snipes as Simon Phoenix
- Sandra Bullock as Lieutenant Lenina Huxley
- Nigel Hawthorne as Doctor Raymond Cocteau
- Benjamin Bratt as Officer Alfredo Garcia
- Denis Leary as Edgar Friendly
- Rob Schneider as Erwin (uncredited)
- Jack Black as Wasteland Scrap
- Bill Cobbs as Zachary Lamb (old)
- Bob Gunton as Chief George Earle
- Paul Perri as Squad Leader
- Pat Skipper as Helicopter Pilot
- Glenn Shadix as Associate Bob
- Trent Walker as Boggle Guard
- Troy Evans as Tough Cop
- Grand L. Bush as Zachary Lamb (young)
- Steve Kahan as Captain Healy
- Andre Gregory as Warden William Smithers
- Jesse Ventura as Adam, Cryocon Ally
- Brandy Ledford as "wrong number" video phone girl
Bullock replaced original actress Lori Petty in the role of Lenina Huxley after a few days filming. Her character's name is a reference to Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, and Lenina Crowne, a character in Brave New World.
One of the film's focal points is Taco Bell being the sole surviving restaurant chain in the world. Because Taco Bell is not widely available outside the U.S., the European version substitutes it with Pizza Hut, with lines re-dubbed and logos changed during post-production.
Hungarian science fiction writer István Nemere says that most of Demolition Man is based on his novel Holtak harca (Fight of the Dead), published in 1986. In the novel, a terrorist and his enemy, a counter-terrorism soldier are cryogenically frozen and awakened in the 22nd century to find violence has been purged from society. Nemere claimed that a committee proved that 75% of the film is identical to the book. He chose not to initiate a lawsuit, as it would have been too expensive for him to hire a lawyer and fight against major Hollywood forces in the United States. He also claimed that Hollywood has plagiarized works of many Eastern European writers after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and that he knows the person he claims to be responsible for illegally selling his idea to the filmmakers.
The title theme is a heavier remix of the song originally recorded by Grace Jones and written by Sting during his time as frontman for The Police. The song was first released in March 1981, as an advance single from Jones's fifth album, Nightclubbing. Sting released an EP featuring this song and other live tracks, entitled Demolition Man.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2013)|
A four-part limited-series comic adaptation was published by DC Comics starting in November 1993. A novelization, written by Robert Tine, was also published in October 1993.
Acclaim Entertainment and Virgin Interactive released Demolition Man on various home video game systems. The 16-bit versions were shooting games distributed by Acclaim. The 3DO version is a multi-genre game that incorporates Full Motion Video scenes, with both Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes reprising their roles as their characters in scenes that were filmed exclusively for the game.
In April 1994, Williams released a widebody pinball machine, Demolition Man based on the movie. It is designed by Dennis Nordman. The game features sound clips from the movie, as well as original speech by Stallone and Snipes. This game was part of WMS' SuperPin series (Twilight Zone, Indiana Jones, etc.).
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- Hunt, Dennis (March 4, 1994). "'Fugitive' Runs Home : Movies: Even though the hit film is back in theaters, Warners rushes its video release on the heels of Oscar nominations.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- "Action On DVD and Blu-ray 1997". MovieWeb. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- Zupan, Michael (August 25, 2011). "Demolition Man (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
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- Turan, Kenneth (October 8, 1993). "Demolition Man: Another Killer Blond". Los Angeles TImes. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Canby, Vincent (October 8, 1993). "Review/Film; Waking Up In a Future Of Muscles". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Schickel, Richard (October 18, 1993). "Futuristic Face-Off". Time Magazine. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
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