review for Demolition Man on AllMovie

Demolition Man (1993)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

Two years before Sylvester Stallone tried his hand at a real comic-book franchise with the somewhat dreadful Judge Dredd, he'd already hit the nail on the head with Demolition Man, an action romp that has a kind of outrageous playfulness that is inherently tied to the comic format. Sly knows exactly how to pull off this material and does so with the help of a star-studded supporting cast that includes Nigel Hawthorne, Benjamin Bratt, and another charming performance from Sandra Bullock. Clocking in at completely over-the-top speed is Wesley Snipes, whose Simon Phoenix villain might as well be The Joker for all intents and purposes. Though set in the future, the flick does seem a bit dated, if only because of Denis Leary's old rehashed ramblings that tend to take one out of the movie's universe. Still, with the film's satirical nods to a politically correct utopia where Taco Bell rules all and government machines bill citizens for cursing, the filmmakers had more on their mind than just big explosions and one-liners (which they gratuitously threw in as well). For a shoot-'em-up to work on that kind of level while still being a pleasingly fun time at the movies it must command some sort of respect -- though not that much, since it is, after all, just Demolition Man.