Demolition Man

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie Demolition Man is a 1993 American motion picture. It was directed by Marco Brambilla, written by Peter M. Lenkov and Robert Reneau, and produced by Howard Kazanjian.



The film is a story about two men, one an evil criminal and another a policeman. Although the initial scenes are set in a anarchic, dystopian version of Los Angeles, circa 1996, most of the film is set in the year 2032, where San Angeles, Southern California has become a peaceful, sanitized paradise. (In the film, San Angeles has been created from the joining of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego and the surrounding metropolitan regions following a massive earthquake.)

Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes) - incarcerated in a "cryoprison" (which, unlike traditional prisons, keeps its' prisoners cryogenically frozen in suspended animation) for his activities as a crime lord in 1990s Los Angeles - escapes during a parole hearing and soon embarks on a reign of terror throughout the city of San Angeles. Because police officers no longer know how to deal with ultraviolent criminals like Phoenix, supercop John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), aka "The Demolition Man", is paroled from the cryoprison for the purpose of apprehending Phoenix. (Spartan had been imprisoned as a consequence of underestimating Phoenix's evil genius in the first scene; numerous hostages had died as a result and, after Phoenix implicated Spartan in their deaths, Spartan became the scapegoat.) However, it is revealed that the ruler of San Angeles, Raymond Cocteau, engineered the escape of Phoenix in order to have Phoenix kill resistance leader Edgar Friendly and allow Cocteau to assert even stronger control over his citizens. Unfortunately for Cocteau, he underestimates the criminal genius of Phoenix (much as Spartan had) and is killed, leaving Spartan (and his partner, Lenina Huxley) to try and stop Phoenix from rebuilding his crime empire in a San Angeles ill-equipped to resist it.


  • Sylvester Stallone - John Spartan
  • Wesley Snipes - Simon Phoenix
  • Sandra Bullock - Lt. Lenina Huxley
  • Nigel Hawthorne - Dr. Raymond Cocteau
  • Benjamin Bratt - Alfredo Garcia
  • Bob Gunton - Chief George Earle
  • Glenn Shadix - Associate Bob
  • Denis Leary - Edgar Friendly
  • Grand L. Bush - Zachary Lamb (Young)
  • Pat Skipper - Helicopter Pilot
  • Steve Kahan - Captain Healy
  • Paul Bollen - T.F.R. Officer
  • Mark Colson - Warden William Smithers (Young)
  • Andre Gregory - Warden William Smithers (Aged)

References and trivia

The film runs for 110 minutes, and is available on VHS and DVD.

The future world portrayed in the movie, where human reproduction has been entirely relegated to medical science, and humanity was kept from its own bloody past in the interests of society, is strongly resemblent of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Bullock's character is a reference to this - "Lenina Huxley" combines Huxley's surname with the first name of a major character in the book. Additionally, both Chief Earle and Huxley refer to John Spartan as a "savage" - making him "John the Savage" (another character from Brave New World).

Certain distinctive terms and neologisms are used in the film; for example, a homicide is referred to as a "non-sanctioned life termination" in one sequence, and as "Murder Death Kill" in several others. In addition, the use of even the mildest profanity is against the law, by way of the Verbal Moralities Act, and is punishable by a fine which is automatically deducted from a citizen's finances (with an automated printer dispensing the ticket).

There are some hints dropped throughout the movie about how the United States may have undergone a period of anarcho-capitalism before it was stabilized. In particular, Taco Bell is the only restaurant available, because it won the "Franchise Wars". (In some European versions of the film, this was changed to Pizza Hut; in some television edits, the restaurant name was removed all together, in rather clumsy fashion.)

General Motors allowed the movie's producers to use many of their prototype automobiles on the condition that the movie feature their Oldsmobile brand. This was requested to show that the brand had a future - which was in question even in 1993. Ironically, eleven years later, the Oldsmobile marque would be retired - long before the movie's fictional 2032 setting.

In one scene, the "Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library" is mentioned. Although the idea was clearly intended as satire in 1993 (particularly in a film starring Stallone), some fans (of the film or Schwarzenegger) have speculated that such a thing could become possible in the near future if Schwarzenegger's political career is successful and the U.S. Constitution is subsequently amended to allow foreign-born citizens to serve as President - indeed, this is also mentioned in the same scene. While Schwarzenegger is unlikely to become President (the necessary change in U.S. law would take too long to complete), Schwarzenegger has become governor of California so the reference could be considered indirectly prophetic in that Schwarzenegger has since become a U.S. politician.

In another scene, Phoenix is inside the museum's gun exhibit. He breaks the glass by hurling a guard into it, then takes the guns. As he takes them, he says, "Sorry, Rambo, I'm gonna need these." -- obvious reference to Stallone.

A subplot that was shot but not included because of time limits was that Lenina Huxley was the daughter of John Spartan. Also cut was a scene of Phoenix killing Spartan's old friend, helicopter pilot Zachary Lamb.

The theme song to the film is also called Demolition Man and is played over the end credits. It is a remix of the song originally written by Sting and recorded during his time as frontman for The Police. The song was first released in 1981, as the fifth track on the band's fourth album, Ghost In The Machine.

External links

de:Demolition Man


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