Demolition Man (1993)

“Demolition Man” (1993)

demolition man

IMDb

Elegy to John Rambo and the Passenger 57

This film is great fun to watch. Really great fun, if you place it in its context, and if you consider its main performers.

It is, of course, the orwellian set up. That’s seducing by general principle. It’s a game of imagining societies in a more or less distant future, living on a very defined extreme situation – actually Orwell’s original model for such a society was the quite real soviet regime. A friend of mine alerted me to the last name of Bullock’s character, certainly not a coincidence. I believe there are two variables when you create such worlds. One is when you get, from the beginning, the evil side, and the cruelty and injustice of that imagined world, and that meanness is usually associated to a cruel (political/military) regime. Those versions sprinkle from 1984 (“V for Vendetta” comes to my mind). The other version is when you come to find out about the frailties and major flaws of an apparently positive world, which starts by seducing you. This film is that case. So, a perfectioned world, instead of a dictator we have a kind of demiurge (dressed as one, and named after an important artist, someone who creates). Finding out what is behind such “perfections” and understanding that a perfect world is not necessarily a human one is where it goes. It’s predictable, not specially well written, by the world is believable and it allows for the story to flow.

Now to me this is all accessory. The real fun about this film is where it stands and what it means in the context of American action films. Basically, this film and others from around the same time, introduces self-awareness in the action scene. It laughs at American action from the 80′, and it counts on Snipes and Sly to do it! That’s really great. That’s how the writing of the film takes advantage of the future reality where two past action guys (1 good and 1 evil) are defrost. So now this new world doesn’t have a clue about their past methods, and they have to explain them, so they talk about it all the time. Those methods are “barbarian”, atrocious to this new purified society, so the old action figures shock, and repel (initially). So, consider this was made around 1993, the 80′ were gone, audiences were changing, and that Rambo thing was gone. This means people than (and now) were already not aligned with the action of the 80′. So Sandra Bullock and the nerds from her future are our surrogates in the film. They look at Stallone’s useless material destruction layering on it the same levels of incredibility that the audiences place. That’s great. In the same year we had the highly underrated Last Action Heroe, starring another vase from the 80′ action films. Same game, same fun. These films are important given this specific context, they turn pages in a genre.

Remember Richard Crenna parodying his Rambo colonel in the Hot Shots films? That’s the type of self-awareness i’m talking about (pitty that Stallone wouldn’t leave it like that and came back to Rambo now).

Much of the film is quite ordinary, actually, but heck, i don’t care. It’s great fun.

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb

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