Demolition Man is a 1993 American dystopia, science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla, and starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. Sandra Bullock, Nigel Hawthorne and Denis Leary co-star.
The film is a story about two men, one an evil crime lord and the other a risk-taking police officer, who are cryogenically frozen in the year 1996 and reawakened to face each other in 2032. Los Angeles, now called San Angeles following an earthquake that destroyed most of contemporary Los Angeles and San Diego, has become part of a planned city where violence is eliminated from mainstream society. Some aspects of the film allude to Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World. The role of Simon Phoenix was originally offered to Jackie Chan.
In 1996, Los Angeles has fallen into chaos, with criminal warlords ruling various sections of the city. The most dangerous of these is Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), who has just kidnapped a busload of people that strayed into his territory. The LAPD mounts a raid on his headquarters, allowing LAPD Sergeant John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) (nicknamed “Demolition Man” for the extensive property damage that occurs when he apprehends criminals) to go in first and alone. He captures Phoenix, but in doing so sets off explosives planted by Phoenix that destroy the building; the bodies of the bus passengers are soon found in the rubble. As Phoenix is being arrested, he claims that they were alive before the building exploded, resulting in Spartan's arrest for involuntary manslaughter. They are respectively sentenced to life imprisonment and 70 years in "CryoPrison" - a facility in which convicts are frozen in suspended animation to serve out their terms.
In 2032, Phoenix is thawed out for a parole hearing, but handily escapes from CryoPrison after killing the warden. He then begins a rampage through what is now “San Angeles,” a combination of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, hacking into the city’s computer network and overpowering police officers with ease. Since San Angeles is a pacifist utopia, the police are helpless to deal with this sort of behavior. However, Lieutenant Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), an officer fascinated with 20th-century culture, and Zachary Lamb, who had been one of Spartan's colleagues in 1996, suggest that Spartan be brought in to stop Phoenix.
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