Demolition Man

1993

Demolition Man

Critics Consensus

A better-than-average sci-fi shoot-em-up with a satirical undercurrent, Demolition Man is bolstered by strong performances by Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock.

62%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 39

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 270,354
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Movie Info

The plot of this action film begins in 1996, with Los Angeles in a violence-crazed conflagration. One of the LAPD's most notorious cops, John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), known as "the demolition man," is in hot pursuit of blonde-haired psychopath Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), who is so nasty he even kills sometimes just because he feels cranky. John captures Simon, but not before Simon kills innocent hostages. John is blamed for the deaths of the hostages, and both he and Simon are cryogenically frozen to remove their brand of ultra-violence from a society that is simply just too violent. The film shifts to the future world of 2032, where Los Angeles has become a megalopolis called San Angeles. There is no poverty, Arnold Schwarzenegger was (at one time) president of the United States, and Taco Bell is the sole survivor of the Franchise Wars. Into this peaceful and bland society, Simon is summarily defrosted by reigning benevolent dictator Dr. Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorne) to have Simon murder Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary), the leader of a group of underground rebels. But Cocteau bites off more than he can chew when the melted-down Simon proceeds to go on a murder-and-looting spree. Reluctantly, Cocteau defrosts John to hunt down his old adversary. As John adjusts to self-driving cars and having sex wearing helmets, he pairs up with Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), a bored cop with a nostalgic fascination for 20th-century culture. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast

Sylvester Stallone
as Sergeant John Spartan
Wesley Snipes
as Simon Phoenix
Sandra Bullock
as Lenina Huxley
Nigel Hawthorne
as Dr. Raymond Cocteau
Benjamin Bratt
as Alfredo Garcia
Bob Gunton
as Chief George Earle
Glenn Shadix
as Associate Bob
Denis Leary
as Edgar Friendly
Grand L. Bush
as Zachary Lamb "Young"
Paul Bollen
as TRF Officer
Andre Gregory
as Warden William Smithers "Aged"
John Enos III
as Prisoner
Troy Evans
as Tough Cop
Bill Cobbs
as Zachary Lamb "Aged"
Kristopher Logan
as Troubled Guy
Stephen Kahan
as Captain Healy
Paul Perri
as Squad Leader
Susan Lentini
as TV Reporter
Brett Jones
as Museum Guard
Dan Cortese
as Taco Bell Entertainer
Lara Harris
as Taco Bell Patron
Pat Skipper
as Helicopter Pilot
Alex Chapman
as Taco Bell Scrap
Ken Baldwin
as Wasteland Scrap
Jack Black
as Wasteland Scrap
Carlton Wilborn
as Wasteland Scrap
Brandy Sanders
as Fiber Op Girl
Billy Lucas
as CryoCon
Vanna Bonta
as Computers
Rob Schneider
as Erwin (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for Demolition Man

Critic Reviews for Demolition Man

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (15)

  • Demolition Man is a movie that should have been fun, and isn't.

    Feb 9, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Ultimately the script's often sharp social satire is drowned out by the noise and confusion. It is also undercut by casting virtually all the psychopathically murderous criminals as minority-group members.

    Jul 25, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Nearly all the SF premises are accorded the status of Andrew Dice Clay one-liners -- which means that they, along with the characters, keep changing from one scene to the next.

    Apr 30, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A noisy, soulless, self-conscious pastiche that mixes elements of sci-fi, action-adventure and romance, then pours on a layer of comedy replete with Hollywood in-jokes.

    Apr 30, 2008

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Forget your preconceptions, but not your brain cells and sense of irony.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Demolition Man is a significant artifact of our time or, at least, of this week.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Demolition Man

  • Mar 18, 2018
    Demolition Man may not exactly be the perfect movie, but the core idea behind the plot is something I've never ever seen done before or since. It's pretty mindless and fairly hammy, but it's fun and enough of an experience to get me across the finish line, no worse for the experience.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2016
    "Demolition Man" contains an awful script but has excellent cinematography. Set in 2032 for the most part the plot to "Demolition Man" is that a rough and professional police officer named "John Spartan" portrayed by "Sylvester Stallone" is in search of a man named "Simon Phoenix" portrayed by "Wesley Snipes". One night "Phoenix" kidnaps 20 people and keeps them in a large building. "Spartan" arrests "Phoenix" but in the process the 20 hostages die. "Spartan" is punished by being cryogenically frozen with "Phoenix". Later in 2032 "Phoenix" escapes and causes chaos into the future so "Spartan" is awoken to stop him. The movie begins in 1996 with the first action-sequence taking place. The introduction to "Phoenix" is shows how insane he truly is. Throughout the most of the movie it shows "Spartan" adjusting to life in the future and trying his best to capture "Phoenix". The scenes of "Spartan" adjusting to life are humorous to watch meanwhile most of the action sequences don't feel like a fighting scene; for example the fighting scene between "Phoenix" and the 6 police officers doesn't look like a fight the scene looks more like a dance sequence. The movie's climax is great, it felt legitimate and the climax has a terrific antagonist death. As usual "Sylvester Stallone" gives 100% in his performances as he does for "Demolition Man" but some minor characters in the movie that only are in 1 or 2 scenes don't feel like they are giving it they're best. The movie score at times isn't the best and doesn't make a scene more captivating. The biggest issue with the movie is the script, the script is full or childish dialogue and unrealism; occasionally the script uses humor but that's not too often. Definitely the best part of "Demolition Man" is the cinematography the late "Alex Thomson" films this movie in a way that is almost indescribable. If you are a person who enjoys some of "Sylvester Stallone's" action movies then I recommend you watch "Demolition Man" as it has humorous dialogue, a great "Stallone" performance and terrific cinematography. Although the movie isn't perfect it has some issues, these being the childish script, the unentertaining music and some bad fighting scenes. I give 1993's "Demolition Man" a 7/10.
    Steve G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2012
    interesting choice for an action film. pairing snipes and stallone was great due to both actors having the charisma to bring the film to life. the futuristic setting is well designed if a little flawed but for an action film there is a lot of character moments. compared to most of stallones films you must treat this film as a mini classic
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2012
    Distractingly stupid and profoundly silly, Demolition Man never works as a good B action film. There needs to be some element of believability, some opposing force that is at least half-convincingly nefarious (not an over-the-top Wesley Snipes). Itâ(TM)s funny in parts, with plenty of 90s references and satire, but itâ(TM)s just too corny. I think the biggest problem with it, is that is just hasnâ(TM)t aged well. The CGI, itâ(TM)s ridiculous futuristic style, are all outdated, making it much less effective some 19 year after its release. 2/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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