Are We Headed Toward ‘Demolition Man’?

There is so much going on in the world today with the pandemic, social distancing, police relations, peaceful protests, rioting, and looting that there appears to be an abundance of change on the horizon. There are a lot of tough conversations happening and with self-examination comes the ability to make necessary adjustments. If you are willing. 

I recently rewatched 1993’s futuristic action flick, Demolition Man. Not only is it extremely timely, but it also has aged very well. The story of a rogue cop getting the vile psychopath criminal by any means, no matter the cost. Sylvester Stallone’s, John Spartan, is a cop on a mission to stop career criminal Simon Phoenix’s, played by Wesley Snipes, devious plan. Because Spartan abandoned protocol, he helps cause the deaths of many innocent hostages being held by Phoenix. Or at least it appears that way. Both are sentenced to the new form of rehabilitation of being cryogenically frozen and exposed to subliminal rehabilitation techniques until they are fit to return to society. 

L.A. was a warzone and after this travesty, along with other such incidents, changes need to be made to police procedures and societal restraints to make a peaceful utopia some many have long for. Sounds familiar right?

While both characters were frozen, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara had morphed into the San Angeles metropolis spearheaded by evangelistic pseudo-pacifist Dr. Raymond Cocteau since the “Great Earthquake” of 2010. This figuratively, and well, literally shook everything up. Things needed to change. Crime, disease, and lifestyles were so out of hand that anything deemed bad was outlawed. Even cursing and salt. I’d never be out of prison.

This need to control or limit how people lived and what was considered “bad” slapped me in the face with what is going on today. It’s always been there. A person or group trying to tell you what is right or wrong based on their personal beliefs. They know what’s best, of course. Today it is just so in your face because all the news outlets and the social media justice warriors who want to tell you what you should think, believe, and do. Where if you don’t, you should get a demerit for your backward thinking like Spartan does for using the dirty words.

One aspect that I found hilarious, given current circumstances, was the air high fives.

I understand social distancing, but the idea of never giving a high five or another handshake is mindboggling to me. I struggle with not wanting to shake hands now because it is so ingrained in my Texan charm that it feels awkward greeting someone without one. However, Sandra Bullock’s character, Lenina Huxley, breaks down why physical contact and the exchange of bodily fluids was outlawed when she wants to do the horizontal mamba telepathically with Spartan. Several diseases worse than AIDS came about to force the new social distancing norms. 

Now for the real touchy subject. Phoenix was thawed out for a routine probation hearing but was able to escape. In doing so, he committed several 187’s on mofo’s while exiting the facility. At the police station, they receive notices of all violations once they are committed. But they were unfamiliar with this odd code of 187. Huxley had to search the meaning and when Murder Death Kill appeared, they were sickened and paralyzed. They had no idea what to do. Police officers came at Simon with full force when they were able to get a fix on his position. Full force meant they had little stun batons and no idea how to deal with a violent criminal such as this who didn’t immediately obey their every word. The lead officer had to have a handheld device to instruct him on how to handle this suspect. The officer was puzzled when Phoenix didn’t immediately do what he was told. What was the device’s advice? Say it again but sterner and add “Or else”. That had to work right. This career violent criminal had to be shaking in his boots at that statement.

Oh wait, maybe he was. No silly goose, he laid waste to all the police officers because they weren’t trained properly to handle this type of occurrence. When you hear about some people’s suggestions on what to do with the police, this is what I picture. I’m not here to argue about recent events or disagree that there needs to change, but is this where we are headed if certain people get their way?

In the movie, there is a division of people where some live happily, maybe little naive and ignorant, in the utopia and then there are the Scraps that rebel against who want to make their own personal choices because of the freedoms and rights they feel entitled to no matter how it affects others. There is good and bad here on both sides and some simple conversations in order to come to a mutual understanding would have greatly benefited everyone. Except for the evil overlords of course.

It is eerily amazing how well director Marco Brambilla and the writers seemingly “predicted” the future with this movie.

  • Celebrities as politicians with Arnold Schwarzenneger being president.
  • Fast food being king with how drive-thru and delivery being the go-to or only option for eating out.
  • Toilet paper non-existent? “He doesn’t know how to use the three seashells?!”
  • Music becoming quick snippets and annoying for the short attention span people. Ok, this is just me being an old grump but music is awful nowadays.

I personally do not want to live anywhere near this “utopia” of Demolition Man but I’m not stubborn or naive enough to not realize there is some much-needed change on both sides of many issues. The biggest issues I see are blind acceptance and the unwillingness to have conversations where we are able to see someone else’s point of view that is different from our own. Be okay with believing what you want to believe while not trying to force it down others throats that don’t agree. I know I’m right and I’m perfectly fine with you looking like an idiot being completely wrong.

I highly recommend giving this a watch as it is highly entertaining even without the eye-popping future commentary. Wesley Snipes doesn’t get enough credit for this fun baddie he helped create and Sandra Bullock is infectious with her spunky nostalgia loving self. Sly does Sly things while everyone else plays their parts well. Some fun action and plenty of laughs help this be an extremely entertaining 90s action flick.

When is the last time you watched Demolition Man? How do you feel about how it relates to what is going on today? Or does it? Which fast-food chain would you want to win a “Fast Food War”?

Author: Vincent Kane

I hate things.