When people think of Sylvester Stallone, they immediately go into how Rocky changed their lives at some point. The story of straight perseverance is one for the ages, and Rocky is certainly one of the most storied franchises ever created. The fact that Stallone wrote the script and demanded he star in it is such a boss move too. However, Stallone has had a plethora of other films in his career that have simply outshone his boxing classic. The best Stallone film stands alone at the top, and that is 1993’s, Demolition Man.
Sylvester Stallone has comprised himself with plenty of action films, but none hits harder than the sci-fi action film which saw him pair with the maniacal Wesley Snipes. That’s not to say that Snipes was maniacal, his character was. The entirety of Demolition Man sort of paints a futuristic world that we are somewhat living in now. When films that are clearly dated portrayed the future, they are usually way off in comparison, but not Demolition Man. We are fine dining Taco Bell restaurants away from living in that exact future.
Demolition Man follows a detective, John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), as he chases his arch-nemesis, Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes). Phoenix and Spartan are frozen and placed in a “Cryoprison”, which leads to the pair being unthawed 36 years later and into a much different future. The world has certainly changed and the “old ways” are long gone. Phoenix goes on a rampage, leading to the unthawing of his greatest foe, Spartan, who now must be reinstated to chase and stop Phoenix. The pair lived in a past where they essentially killed with impunity, and now murder is a thing of the past. MDK or murder, death, kill, has all been eradicated in this new and improved utopian society. Even cussing or doing any sort of “foul” behavior costs one a credit.
Cars in Demolition Man are not full of foam that allows for accidents, injury, and death to be a thing of the past. This functionality of life-saving technology might not be too far off for us right now. Elon Musk could likely build this type of contraption right now. Going back to above mentioned Taco Bell, it’s now fine dining. I mean, there is a Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas. San Diego Comic-Con also had a Taco Bell experience based on Demolition Man. Are the parallels impressing you yet? Sylvester Stallone movies are great, but this one takes the proverbial cake.
Even the wartime weaponry used in the past is now on display in museums and every authority figure carries simply a stun baton. There is so little crime, that guns are no longer needed. That is until Pheonix takes full advantage of this by breaking into a said museum and hijacking some firepower. Sylvester Stallone plays the makings of a renegade cop to perfection, as he paid the price for going rogue to catch one of the most murderous of villains. Now he must be thrust into a future world where his ways have been outlawed as well.
Before the masses attack me for this selection, Rocky is certainly a classic, but is it as entertaining as Demolition Man? The answer is no. The film blends the perfect elements of shoot-em-ups, sci-fi, satire, and puts them into a highly ridiculous dystopian film. This was peak Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. As an added bonus, we get the naive future cop played by Sandra Bullock. All three of these performances are fantastic across the board, and before you ask me “what seems to be your boggle?” just know that I fully welcome the criticism.
Demolition Man is ranked #18 on Rotten Tomatoes out of all the Sylvester Stallone films. It currently has a 62% Tomatometer and 66% audience score, but I assure you that is far too low for how great this movie is. Sci-fi fans would absolutely love the idea of this oddly confused dystopian future that must be taken apart by the “old school” way of thinking. Watch Demolition Man and it is guaranteed to provide you with a great time.
If you want to watch Rocky for the nostalgia of the boxer who “goes the distance,” fine. But Demolition Man is where Sylvester Stallone gets to let loose and bring his hardened exterior into arguably one of the funniest films he has ever been a part of.