Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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 paradise. In the film, San Angeles has been created from the joining of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and the surrounding metropolitan region.
Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes), has been released from his confinement in a "cryoprison," which is a huge freezing device (used in place of traditional prisons), 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 sprung from the cryoprison for the purpose of apprehending Phoenix. Spartan had been imprisoned on trumped-up charges for underestimating Phoenix's evil genius in the first scene; numerous hostages had died as a result and Spartan became the scapegoat.
- 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 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.
Certain distinctive terms 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.
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 overseas versions of the film this was changed to Pizza Hut).
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.
A subplot that was shot but not included because of time limits was that Lenina Huxley was the daughter of John Spartan.
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.
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