Top 10… Reasons Why I Love Demolition Man

The Top 10 lists are back! Apologies for the recent extended break I’ve unintentionally taken from posting anything, I was waiting for my housing situation to resolve itself but that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon, so I may as well get back to typing. Anyway, as I said, the Top 10 lists have returned, and this time with something a little different. Normally, I’d list of ten films, or scenes, or characters or whatever, but this week – and every so often after – I’m looking at just one film in particular, as a celebration for how much I love it. The prestigious honour of the first film goes to a movie I championed for the most recent Movie of the Month poll over at the Lamb. Due to it being so amazing, the film won with a landslide victory, and I was able to host an episode of the Lambcast on it, which can be listened to here.DemolitionMan14

So what is this film, I hear you ask? Well, it’s Demolition Man, the 1993 action/crime/sci-fi/comedy directed by Marco Brambilla, produced by Joel Silver and starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock. The basic premise sees Stallone’s sergeant John Spartan, a renegade cop in 1996’s burning L.A., track down Snipes’ Simon Phoenix, a psychopathic killer. During Phoenix’s arrest, Spartan is incorrectly blamed for the deaths of Phoenix’s hostages, and both men are sentenced to prison, but not just any incarceration. No, they are cryogenically frozen and mentally ‘reprogrammed’ to become better citizens, with the intention of thawing them out many years in the future. In 2032, Phoenix is thawed out for a parole hearing, but escapes the prison facility and goes on the run. The police force in the now-peaceful future utopia are ill-equipped to deal with Phoenix’s brand of mindless violence, and so Spartan is defrosted to help catch him.

So, without further ado, here’s my Top 10 reasons why I love Demolition Man: [Spoiler warning]
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King of New York

Christopher Walken landed a rare starring role in Abel Ferrara’s 1990 thriller as NY crime lord Frank White, recently released from prison and patrolling the rain lashed, neon-lit underbelly of his city. With the aid of his crew, Frank sets out to fix the city that has fallen apart in his absence, whilst retaining his criminal status, something cops Wesley Snipes and David Caruso rather object to. Also featuring Lawrence Fishburne, casting a shadow over everyone else’s performance as Walken’s right hand man and overall manic chicken-eatin’ mother fucker Jimmy Jump, and small roles from Steve Buscemi and Lost’s Harold Perrineau, if anything this film focuses too much on the policemen, and would have benefitted greatly from more Walken (as indeed could every film). He is the titular king, the film is his story, yet he seems to be a lesser character in it, though he is the most interesting as he disposes of the competition that have been running his city into the ground, and walks coolly and calmly away from a kill. I don’t think the ending did him justice either.

Choose life 6/10