Picks and Pans Review: Demolition Man
This is the most entertaining futuristic action film since the original Terminator. It begins in 1996 in Los Angeles, where rogue cop Stallone, so destructive he is nicknamed the Demolition Man, is chasing crime boss Snipes. Stallone arrests him, but in the process a busload of hostages dies, and Stallone takes the blame. Both Snipes and Stallone (who is convicted of manslaughter) end up frozen in a new cryogenic prison. They are both thawed out in 2032, when L.A., now part of a megalopolis called San Angeles, is ruled by a do-goodocracy headed by Nigel Hawthorne. Hawthorne, who has banned sex, salt, alcohol and tobacco, extra-legally hires Snipes to kill a rebel leader, Denis Leary; Stallone is revived to hunt his old adversary and is partnered with Bullock, part of the newly sensitized, pacifist-polite police force.
The movie has some fun with Bullock's malapropish use of late 20th-century slang ("Take this job and shovel it"). And the fight and chase scenes are staged with maximum energy and minimum gore.
Stallone actually gets to act a little. Bullock is a lively, attractive presence. Snipes is in delightfully malevolent mode, flashing his expressive eyes and using all his athleticism in the fight scenes. (R)