April 14, 2015
[We do the usual opening for the Nostalgia Critic before coming to him at his desk.]
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Action films have come a long way, haven't they?
NC (vo): I mean, on top of them being continuing storylines, great visuals and interesting ideas, we've broken quite a few stereotypes as well. Today, women can be tough and developed, leading to more interesting characters, and men can be emotional and deep, also leading to more interesting characters.
NC: This is the direct opposite to the 80s and 90s, where they mainly just focused on one thing...being a MEH-YAN!
[The caption "MEH-YAN!" is shown as NC eats a heart. Various images are shown as NC describes them.]
NC (vo): RED MEAT, PUNCHING, BOOBS FOR MY DICK ON AN EXPLOSION WITH SAM ELLIOT'S MUSTACHE!
NC: MEH-YAN! We never talked about ideas or expressing our emotions! We were Meh-Yan-de-seses! And we knew who the other Meh-Yan-de-seses were!
[A poster of Commando is shown.]
NC (vo): Schwarzenegger...MEH-YAN!
[An image of Indiana Jones is shown.]
NC (vo): Ford...MEH-YAN!
[An image of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens is shown.]
NC (vo): Weaver...yeah, okay...MEH-YAN!
[An image of Jean-Claude Van Damme is shown.]
NC (vo): Van Damme? Van MEH-YAN!
[An image of Steven Seagal is shown, but quickly vanishes and is replaced with an image of Bruce Willis.]
NC (vo): Seagal...oh, wait, no, he was never really cool. But Willis? MUH-MUH-MUH-MEH-YAN!
NC: We were so bloodhungry for not feeling or thinking anything that our hero for a while was an emotionless robot [An image of the Terminator is shown] who did nothing but kill people! Michael Bay wishes he could be as fucked up as we were! But every once in a while, a smart film would sneak in under the radar, disguised as a dumb dick flick. So, your friends would be like...
[Suddenly, Devil Boner appears in front of an image of London in a dark night.]
NC: Oh, hey!
Devil Boner: You want to see a film about a man's emotional struggle to hold onto his humanity?!
Devil Boner: [A poster of RoboCop is shown] ROBOCOP!!
NC: Oh, yeah! I love RoboCop!
Devil Boner: You want to see if a person's identity is based on his environment or his inner soul?!
Devil Boner: [A poster of Total Recall is shown] TOTAL RECALL!!
NC: Oh, yeah! Three breasts! I love that shit!
Devil Boner: You want to see Stallone...
Devil Boner: ...Snipes...
Devil Boner: ...guns...
Devil Boner: ...battle of politically correct Orwellian universe where they sing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener"?!
NC: Absolutely none of that goes together.
Devil Boner: DEMOLITION MAN!!
[The screen explodes. Clips from Demolition Man play as NC speaks.]
NC (vo): Yep. Demolition Man wasn't a huge hit with critics or the box office, but it did leave a lasting impact with people. Many still talk about it because...well, they have no idea what to clarify it as. Is it a comedy? Is it an action film? Is it smart commentary? Is it dumb violence? Even today, people have trouble clarifying whether or not this is actually a good flick. Movies that break the mold yet somehow also stay bound to it intrigued me. So is it just mindless action or a clever satire of a future that could possibly still happen?
NC: Let's take a look and decide for ourselves. This is Demolition MEH-YAN!
[We fly over the Hollywood sign in flames as "Los Angeles, 1996" appears on screen.]
NC (vo): Yep. I remember when 1996 looked like that. California was on fire, crime was everywhere, celebrities were fighting each other while dressed like jackasses--actually, what am I talking about? This was LA in 1996!
[We are first introduced to the main character, John Spartan, who's in a helicopter.]
John Spartan: A maniac hijacked a bus full of passengers on it. And I got a real bad hunch where those passengers are and that maniac is.
NC (vo): Stallone plays a rogue cop named John Spartan, going after Wesley Snipes, playing a criminal named Simon Phoenix.
NC: Or, as Stallone likes to say, PHOENIX!
[Spartan jumps out of the chopper he's in.]
[We are first shown the film's villain, Simon Phoenix.]
NC (vo): Snipes is a million flavors of fun in this movie, too. Just imagine Ronald McDonald and Beetlejuice sponsored a human Happy Meal toy.
[Spartan confronts Phoenix in a burning building.]
Spartan: Where are the passengers?
Phoenix: Fuck you!
Spartan: Where are they, Phoenix?
Phoenix: I swear, I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached. Hahahaha!
Spartan: I'll keep that in mind.
NC: ...Believe it or not, this actually made moviegoers feel smart in the day.
NC (vo): Like they were clever enough to pick up on that incredibly subtle foreshadowing. It's kind of like showing Bambi's mom taking out life insurance. [A picture of a woman with Bambi's mother's head in the corner is shown] It's not as subtle as you think.
[Spartan carries Phoenix out of the building, letting out a shout as it blows right the hell up!]
NC (vo): Stallone...somehow survives that even though we never see him exit--Maybe there was a Coke machine in the building [clip of the Frying the Coke scene in Double Team appears in the corner]--when it's discovered that all the hostages he was supposed to save are dead.
Fireman: Bodies everywhere! There must be 20 or 30!
Phoenix: See that, Captain? I told him! He didn't care! Oh, my God, you sacrificed all those innocent people!
[Several cops have to restrain Spartan from getting to Phoenix.]
NC (vo): This also, somehow, lands him a life sentence frozen in stasis. But how the fuck is that possible!?
[We come to a courtroom where Judge Tamara Chambers is on the podium.]
Judge Tamara: The court will now listen to the prosecution from an obviously lying psychopath.
[We have Doug playing Spartan and Malcolm Ray playing Phoenix.]
Malcolm Phoenix: Hey, I told him about the hostages! He said he didn't care!
Judge Tamara: A compelling case with a lot of hard evidence. Now, the defendant has put in years of loyal service, taking down hundreds of criminals. How do you plead?
Doug Spartan: [in Stallone's usual drawl] Your Honor, it's--[and he becomes unintelligible before a fly buzzes in] Ooh, a fly. [and he shoots it]
Judge Tamara: Yyyeah, I think the world will be better off without the both of you. Freeze 'em!
[She smacks the gavel down as the two are taken away by Jim Jarosz and Rob Walker.]
Doug Spartan: Hey! He didn't pay his taxes!
[Spartan is lowered into the cryo prison. We are shown a quick clip of The Empire Strikes Back.]
Leia: I love you.
Charlie (vo): I WAS FROZEN TO--[The pod shuts out the last part of that sentence.]
NC (vo): He's put on ice until years later, where the future has practically obliterated crime. Presumably because of one night where all crime becomes legal.
NC: Hey, don't question it! It just works!
[We are first shown the new future San Angeles police department.]
NC (vo): This brings us to Lieutenant Huxley, played by Sandra Bullock, who is not in-between Miss Congeniality and The Heat, so she's allowed to actually be funny here. Which is more than I can say for others.
Erwin (played by Rob Schneider): Greetings and salutations. Welcome to the emergency line on the San Angeles Police Department.
NC (vo; as Rob Schneider): Which movie would you like me to ruin for you? [normal] But we find this future comes with a price. Anything bad for you is illegal. Smoking, high cholesterol, uneducational toys...um, eyebrows? [An arrow points to Huxley having no eyebrows] Even swearing gets you a fine.
Lenina Huxley: Sanctimonious asshole! [The ticket machine buzzes and she gets a ticket]
[A scene later in the film shows Spartan lets out a string of curses to gather up tickets.]
Spartan: You shit-brained, fuck-faced, ball-breaking...
NC: Pfft, that's nothing. To cut down on my swearing, I put electric shocks on my balls. [And he gets zapped for it!] I can't even say balls? [Zap!] Ow, Jesus! [And a couple more zaps!] [high pitched] It really works!
[We are shown Huxley hanging around in her room, which is filled with many collectables related to the past.]
NC (vo): Even though Huxley likes this world fine, she does long for the days of action. As you can see, having surrounded herself in 20th Century nostalgia.
NC: Puh! Loser.
Huxley: What I wouldn't give for some action.
NC (vo): But action is around the corner when Phoenix is woken up for his parole hearing.
[Phoenix awakens in front of the police warden.]
Warden William Smithers: Mr. Simon Phoenix. One of our first and most illustrious members.
NC (vo; as Smithers): You will steal me an Everlasting Gobstopper.
[Phoenix breaks loose, using Smithers' eye to open the doors and escape.]
NC (vo): So Phoenix escapes, using the warden's eye to sneak out. He disguises himself as Dennis Rodman the Menace when the police finally track him down.
[The police confront Phoenix in the middle of the streets.]
Computer: "Demand maniac lie down with hands behind back."
Officer: Lie down with your hands behind your back.
NC (vo): Yeah, this is what every minority wishes the LAPD was like.
[Phoenix then proceeds to kick all their asses.]
Erwin: We're police officers! We're not trained to handle this kind of violence!
NC (vo): The police are scared shitless not knowing how to handle him and he ends up escaping. Of course, they figure out the only way to catch a maniac is to send a maniac. So they unfreeze Stallone to go after him, seeing how his past work precedes him.
[Officer Alfredo Garcia is shown watching an old video of Spartan rescuing a little girl.]
Alfredo Garcia: Are you sure this is real life?
Reporter: How can you justify destroying a $7 million dollar minimall to rescue a girl whose ransom was only $25,000 dollars?
Girl: Fuck you, lady!
NC: Heh! I have no joke for that. It's just everybody deserves to hear that line.
[Spartan is brought before several police officers.]
NC (vo): They set him up against a cheese grater and let him know the situation.
Huxley: The year's 2032.
Spartan: My wife. What happened to my wife?
Huxley: Her light was extinguished in the Big One of 2010.
NC: Oh, yes. We all remember the big disaster of that year. [The poster for The Last Airbender is shown]
Chief George Earle: We didn't thaw you out for a family reunion. Consider it fortunate the lieutenant even bothered to do a probe on your wife.
NC (vo): Uh, I think that's the wrong Stallone movie. [A poster for Italian Stallion appears]
Spartan: Cigarette, any cigarette!
Huxley: Uh, smoking is not good for you, and it has been deemed that anything not good for you is bad, hence illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat...
NC (vo): By God. It's a future as if it was run by MSNBC! This is a cautionary tale for Tea Partyers, isn't it? [A picture of the Tea Party is shown in the corner.]
Huxley: Bad language, chocolate, gasoline, uneducational toys and anything spicy.
NC (vo): Oh, yeah? If anything's bad for you is illegal, then what's Rob Schneider doing in this movie?
Huxley: Not many people get a second chance, John Spartan.
[Spartan suits up in his new police suit.]
NC (vo): Stallone, of course, takes the job, puts on the uniform, and partakes in probably the strangest joke of the movie.
Spartan: You're out of toilet paper.
Garcia: Did you say toilet paper?
Huxley: Oh, they used handfuls of wadded paper back in the 20th century! [She breaks out laughing over it.]
Spartan: I'm happy that you're happy, but the place where you're supposed to have the toilet paper, you got this little shelf with three seashells on it.
Erwin: He doesn't know how to use the three seashells. [And he laughs obnoxiously about it!]
NC (vo): And in case you're wondering, no. They never explain how to use the three seashells. Again, like most of the film, I can't tell if this is brilliant or stupid. [A variety of pictures and memes involving the seashells appear, one picture even being from Deus Ex: Human Revolution.] It's driven anyone who's ever seen the movie insane. There's memes, fan theories. [Poster for Gravity is shown] Even years later at the premiere of Gravity, one of the biggest groundbreakers of the past decade, what's Sandra Bullock being questioned about? [A ta-da sound plays as the question, "How Do the Three Seashells Work?" appears on the bottom over a picture of Sandra Bullock at the premiere for Gravity.]
NC: It's absolutely nuts, and I plan to get to the bottom of it. Malcolm! Tamara!
[Malcolm and Tamara appear at the door.]
Tamara: You summoned?
NC: [petting his Appa plushie] You will discover the secret behind the three seashells by the end of the review. You will present your findings to me.
Malcolm: Does that include...?
NC: And the one who explains it best will not be placed in my spinal cord removal machine.
Tamara: You have one of those?
NC: No-ho-ho-ho. I have two. One for each of you. [Both of them gulp loudly. NC takes out a gong labeled "Three Seashells Gong".] As soon as I bang my three seashells gong, your task will begin.
Malcolm: Come on, man, you can't be serious.
[The two look at him and realize he's dead serious.]
NC: May the odds ever be in your favor. Away with you! [He hits the gong and the two of them leave. NC puts his plushie back under the table.] Anywho...
[Spartan is shown reuniting with an old friend of his, Zachary Lamb.]
Spartan: I remember when you were a snot-nosed rookie pilot.
Zachary Lamb: They finally grounded me.
Spartan: Shit! [buzz!] You were a damn good flyer. [buzz!]
Garcia: They seem to be friends, yet he speaks to him in the most profane manner.
Huxley: Well, if you had read my study, you would know this is how insecure heterosexual males used to bond.
NC: Fuck, yeah! [And he gets zapped again!] [high pitched] I should really get rid of that!
NC (vo): Dr. Farnsworth tells him that the only guns that can be found anymore are at a museum, which is exactly where Phoenix ends up going to load up. On the way there, he [Spartan] listens to what are some typical catchy tunes.
[While driving on the way to the museum, Spartan, Huxley and Garcia listen to the radio, which plays various commercial jingles.]
DJ: The number one request of the day: Armour Hot Dogs.
Huxley and Garcia: [singing] Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox. Love hot dogs. Armour Hot Dogs.
NC (vo): My God. A future where everyone is sensitive, can't take a joke and is obsessed with the past? It's a future run by Tumblr!
Spartan: [rubbing his temples] Somebody put me back in the fridge.
[Meanwhile, at the museum, Phoenix is trying to break into the weapons display case.]
Boggle Guard: What seems to be your boggle?
Phoenix: My boggle?
NC (vo; as Phoenix): Christ, I woke up in Canada. [normal; chuckles] Actually, I wonder if the next song on the radio was this.
[We cut back to the earlier scene of Spartan, Huxley and Garcia listening to the radio; the scene is dubbed over with the audio from the "Don't you put it in your mouth" Canadian PSA.]
Boy Puppet (audio): ♫ Don't you put it in your mouth ♫
Girl Puppet (audio): ♫ Don't you put it in your mouth ♫
Boy Puppet (audio): ♫ Don't you stuff it in your face ♫
Girl Puppet (audio): ♫ Don't stuff it in your face ♫
NC (vo): Stallone makes sure his weapon works. [Spartan zaps a random person with the stun baton.] God, what an asshole. [And NC gets zapped for it.] Thus, him and Phoenix get in a battle for who can make the most lame 90s action comebacks.
[Spartan and Phoenix engage in their first fight in years.]
Spartan: Bad aim, blondie! [A scorecard appears on screen with Stallone: 1 and Snipes: 0.]
Phoenix: Simon says bleed! [Snipes: 1] I've been dreaming about killing you for forty years. [Snipes: 2]
Spartan: Well, keep dreaming. [Stallone: 2]
[The "William Tell Overture" plays as NC reports on this like an old timey sports announcer.]
NC: Ah, yes, these are some pretty cliched comebacks. It looks like Snipes has one up his sleeve.
Phoenix: [using a laser gun] Time for something new and improved! [Snipes: 3]
NC (vo): Let's see if Stallone can retort.
Spartan: [throwing a television at Phoenix] You're on TV! [Stallone: 3]
NC (vo): By God, they're just unstoppable.
Phoenix: Sorry, ya gotta go! [Snipes: 4]
Spartan: You forgot to say "Simon Says." [Stallone: 4]
Phoenix: That must've hurt! [Snipes: 5]
NC: And it appears that Snipes has won this round, but Stallone can always bring it back by simply shouting Phoenix!
Spartan: Phoenix! [STALLONE WINS!]
[Phoenix meets up with a man named Dr. Raymond Cocteau.]
NC (vo): But the founder of this new world, dressed as a White Castle pope, runs into the middle of it. However, Phoenix doesn't seem to be able to kill him. That's because the founder has programmed his mind to go after another target.
Dr. Raymond Cocteau: Isn't there a thought repeating in that barbaric brain of yours? The name Friendly? Mr. Edgar Friendly? Don't you have someone to kill?
NC (vo): But he didn't say, "Would you kindly?"
Cocteau: Then go do your job.
[Spartan appears and begins running towards the two.]
NC: ...Did he just say penis? [The line repeats.] You hear it, too! You hear it, too! Don't act like you don't!
NC (vo): Did he just decide to play a sporadic version of the penis game?
[Cue NC as Spartan and Phoenix shouting "Penis!" at each other as Phoenix gets away.]
NC (vo): So after, quote, "saving his life," the founder invites him to dinner.
Cocteau: Please, I insist. I would like you to accompany me to Taco Bell.
NC: A Mexican restaurant so popular, it was rejected from Mexico twice. Look it up, it's totally true! There's hope for humanity!
[Spartan and Huxley are shown driving to Taco Bell together.]
NC (vo): You might be wondering, why the hell he was invited to Taco Bell of all places? Well, in one of the most painful of product placements until Adam Sandler became a movie star, they give us this vague, yet utterly forced, excuse.
Huxley: You did not realize that Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the Franchise Wars.
Huxley: So, now all restaurants are Taco Bell.
NC (vo): Okay, screw the seashells, which I'm sure you'll need to bring a lot of going to Taco Bell, but what on Earth were the Franchise Wars?
NC: Was it like the Burger King and his Spartan cows against Colonel Sanders and his mutated chickens? [A picture of said image is shown.] This movie needs a prequel!
NC (vo): But, hey, just when you think Stallone can't plug anything else in this movie...
Huxley: The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn't he an actor when you...?
Spartan: Stop. He was President?
Huxley: Yes. Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment which they said--
Spartan: I don't wanna hear it.
NC: That's right, he had it made. And then he had his maid and everything went downhill from there.
[And we go to commercial break. When he come back, we see Spartan and Huxley arrive at Taco Bell for a big dinner.]
NC (vo): So at this Mexican restaurant where, as stated before, no spicy or salty food can be served...so, again, like a typical Taco Bell...our hero finds once again he has a hard time fitting in.
Woman: What would you say if I called you a brutish fossil, symbolic of a decayed era gratefully forgotten?
NC (vo): Are you kidding? It's Stallone. He hears that twice a week.
Spartan: Call for backup. I'll be across the street.
[Outside, a group of dirty-looking misfits are stealing something from a truck, and Spartan goes and fights them.]
NC (vo): But he notices a bunch of dirty, hungry, drugged-up people approaching the Taco Bell. Again, some things never change.
[Spartan grabs one man.]
Man: Please, don't!
[That makes him drop his stash of food from the Taco Bell truck.]
Spartan: [holding the bottle] What the hell?
NC (vo): But he finds out this group lives underground because they don't agree with living in such a fascist world.
Associate Bob: The last remaining criminal element in this city. But plans are in progress to purge this peril from our day.
Huxley: You are even better live than on laserdisk.
Huxley: And a roundhouse, poof!
Spartan: Huxley, this isn't the Wild West, okay? Hurting people's not a good thing! Well, sometimes, it is, but not when it's a bunch of people looking for something to eat.
NC: Hehe! Again, no joke, Just good line.
[Phoenix is shown going underground, before cutting to him meeting with Cocteau.]
NC (vo): So we see Phoenix goes underground to kill the leader of the rebels...just so he can come right back up to say he needs help.
Phoenix: I need about five or six more...special men.
NC (vo): The founder agrees to thaw out some of his buddies to help while Huxley straight out asks our hero for quite a proposal.
[Spartan and Huxley are shown hanging out at Huxley's house.]
Huxley: I was wondering if you would like to have sex.
[We get audio of Beavis from Beavis & Butt-Head going "Boi-oi-oing!"]
Spartan: [smiles] Oh, yeah.
NC: Time to let out the sexual cry of the Stallone.
Spartan: [from earlier] Phoenix!
NC: Penis, indeed.
NC (vo): But it's a little different in the future, as the world partakes in what I can only describe as Virtual Boy sex.
NC: [frowns] That...came out much worse than I intended. [quick beat] As did that.
NC (vo): But you'll see what I'm talking about.
[Spartan and Huxley have helmets on their heads, allowing them to get into the action in their minds before Spartan takes the helmet off.]
NC (vo): Wow, sexual interaction is done virtually without actually touching the person you're dating? This really is a future run by Tumblr!
Huxley: Not even mouth transfer is condoned. [Spartan leans in to kiss her.] What are you doing?
Spartan: Breaking the law.
Rico (from Judge Dredd): LLLAAAAAWWWW!!
Huxley: You are a savage creature, John Spartan, and I wish you to leave my domicile now.
NC (vo): She throws him out, but it's okay. As part of being a MEH-YAN! movie, we get some pointless nudity.
[Spartan is shown watching a naked woman on a screen.]
Woman: Hi, Martin. You know, I was thinking--Oh, my God, I'm sorry! Wrong number. [There's a black bar covering up her body.]
NC (vo): Who was that woman? Why was it worth two seconds showing off her tits and ass?
Spartan: [from earlier] Phoenix!
[Spartan is shown knitting a new sweater, before making up with Huxley the next day by giving her the sweater.]
NC (vo): Stallone uses this alone time to knit. Because...after being turned down by a hot woman and seeing another one naked--Yeah, that's what I would do! But he figures out his new talent is all part of his reprogramming.
Spartan: When I thawed out, the first thing I wanted to do was knit.
Huxley: For each inmate, the computer draws up a skill or trade that best suits their genetic disposition.
Spartan: I'm a seamstress? Well, that's just great.
NC (vo): God, I can see all the Stallone memes now. [We get a picture of Spartan winding up some yarn while having hipster glasses on; as Stallone] I was knitting before it was hipster.
Spartan: Can you get Phoenix's rehab program now?
NC (vo): But he discovers that Phoenix has been implanted with all sorts of hacking and martial arts info that would make him an unstoppable weapon. So I guess the real question is, why aren't the rest of the cops given these implants?
Huxley: This isn't a proper rehabilitation program!
Spartan: No kidding.
[Spartan and Huxley are shown going into the underground world of the rebels.]
NC (vo): This causes him to go to the underground set of Super Mario Bros. where he finally gets what he thinks is real food.
Spartan: This is fantastic.
Huxley: Just don't ask where the meat comes from.
Cook: [speaking Spanish] Esta carne de rata!
Spartan: Rat? [The cook nods] This is a rat burger? [The cook nods again]
NC: Hey, after having Taco Bell, rat would taste like Filet Mignon, okay?
NC (vo): He comes across the leader of the rebels, played by Denis Leary, who explains quite clearly that if the surface world is Tumblr, then the underworld is 4chan.
Spartan: I guess you weren't part of the Cocteau Plan.
Edgar Friendly: Greed? Deception? Abuse of power? That's no plan.
NC: No, that's just LA again. Nothing much has really changed.
Friendly: I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I want high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and buckets of cheese, okay? I've seen the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year old virgin sitting around in gray pajamas drinking a broccoli milkshake singing "I'm An Oscar Meyer Weiner."
NC: Okay, are you sure this isn't a metaphor for the Internet?
NC (vo): But Phoenix and his new gang spot our heroes, leaving him wide open to be shot and-- [Phoenix and his gang miss!] Oh, for God's sake. They were right there! How could you possibly miss them!?
NC: It's like... [NC puts his gun to his head and pulls the trigger. It doesn't kill him, and a couple seconds later, the bullet hits the wall next to him!] How is that possible?!
NC (vo): You better shout "Phoenix" to make me feel better!
NC: Hehe! It actually does.
[Spartan chases after Stallone in a 20th Century charger after Phoenix's stolen police car.]
NC (vo): They partake in Dukes of Bio-Hazard as Bullock drives the car frantically screaming at the top of her lungs. [A poster for Speed appears] Before it became annoying.
[Spartan jumps from the hood of his car to Phoenix's car.]
Phoenix: No free rides!
[Phoenix shoots up at the roof of the car and doesn't even graze Spartan.]
NC (vo): Seriously? Did you just set your gun to hit everything but Stallone? Mr. Magoo could aim better than you!
[Spartan throws Phoenix out of the car and onto the highway.]
NC (vo): He escapes, leaving Stallone to crash, but he's saved in probably the most strangest way imaginable.
[Spartan punches his way out of the foam that kept him from getting hurt in the crash.]
Huxley: It's secure foam. It saved your life.
NC: Okay, that's not a safety device. That's...a power Mario would have. Turn any surface into foam. [A picture of Super Mario Bros. is shown with the fireballs and Goombas white.]
NC (vo): Oh, and I'm so glad the gunshots, wall slams and doors flying don't set it off. I think it's on a little bit of a delay.
[Phoenix again meets up with Cocteau.]
Cocteau: I'll have carte blanche to create the perfect society. My society.
NC (vo): Phoenix finds he still can't kill the founder, but like a moron, he forgot to program that into the other criminals. So he hands the gun to a thug, played by Jesse Ventura.
[The goon shoots Cocteau dead, then the gang throws his body into the fireplace.]
NC (vo): Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's how he got his other political job, too.
[Phoenix is shown using the thawing machine to thaw out various criminals. Spartan and Huxley are then shown getting ready to save the day.]
NC (vo): He plans to thaw out all the criminals to cause chaos, which means it's up to our two main heroes to save the day-- [Spartan stuns Huxley, knocking her out.] Our one main hero to save the day. Yep, another trope of the MEH-YAN movie is that the final battle always has to be MEH-YAN-o y MEH-YAN-o. [Clips of Huxley fighting Phoenix's goons are shown.] Yeah, even though she's proven she's a pretty badass fighter and even saves Stallone a couple of times... [as Stallone] "My testicles must show I can handle this on my own."
NC: So, yeah, let's play a game called "What Huxley could have done while Stallone gets his ass kicked."
[Spartan and Phoenix are trading shots at each other. The advice at the bottom says "Could've sneaked to the other side while he distracted him." Associate Bob leaves the fighting. The advice now says "Could've stopped Ottho." Phoenix grabs a laser gun and the advice says "Could've grabbed this gun." Spartan jumps out and shoots out at Phoenix and the advice says "Could've catched him."]
Phoenix: Look in my eyes, John! I'll see you in Hell!
[Spartan hits Phoenix in the gut and the advice says "Could've thought up a better comeback." Spartan is gripped by a claw and is under Phoenix's mercy. The advice now says "ANYTHING here!"]
NC: Okay, she could not shout "Phoenix." It's the one thing Stallone could do. And even then, that's kind of debatable.
Spartan: [from earlier] Phoenix!
NC: I'm gonna make that my ringtone.
NC (vo): In a kind-of rip-off of Terminator 2, Phoenix is covered in frozen liquid, resulting in Stallone, what else, knocking his block off. I can just see the wheels turning in Stallone's head thinking of a witty line. [The choices come up as they're said; as Stallone] "Let's keep ahead." "Don't lose your head." "Henry David Thoreau once said it's better to have your head in the clouds and know where you are than to breathe the clea--*" Eh, fuck it.
[The full quote is, "Henry David Thoreau once said it's better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think you are in paradise."]
Spartan: Heads up! [Spartan kicks Phoenix's frozen head off of his body, killing him.]
NC (vo): Thus, causing the big exploding...science ball to go off, resulting in, of course, the place being blown sky high. [The cryoprison is blown to hell; the explosion is shown in the bottom left corner of the building.] Or at least a small corner of it.
NC: Really? You open the movie with this? [The first building exploding is shown, the entire thing being demolished!] And then you end it with this? [The cryoprison is shown exploding, and it's only a smaller explosion compared to the rest of the building, and given a fart sound effect.] That took up a quarter of the screen. You still have all that building to blow up! [An arrow is shown pointing out the rest of the building that could've been destroyed.] It's like a domino set you never get to knock over. NEXT TO A BOMB! [A domino set is shown, then it zooms out to reveal a big bomb next to it.]
[In the aftermath, both the rebels and the police officers speak with Spartan, having learned of Cocteau's treachery.]
Chief: What'll we do? How will we live?
NC (vo): While they try to figure out what'll happen to the future of Portlandia, Stallone gives some advice.
Spartan: I'm gonna tell you what you're gonna do. Why don't you [the Chief] get a little dirty? [The chief looks down] You [Friendly] a lot clean? [Friendly and the rebels smile] And somewhere in the middle...I don't know, you'll figure it out.
NC (vo): Wow. Not since his thrilling speech to the Russians in Rocky IV has his diplomacy ever been so eloquent.
Spartan: Somewhere in the middle...I don't know, you'll figure it out.
[The Russian audience and the Politburo applauding Rocky is spliced into the movie. A recovered Huxley meets with Spartan.]
Huxley: Thank you for rendering me unconscious.
Spartan: Huxley, I did it for your own good.
Huxley: We're supposed to be a team.
NC (vo): Huxley is rightfully pissed that she was left out of the action, but, eh, this oughta shut her up.
[Spartan catches Huxley and leans her back into a deep kiss.]
NC (vo; as Huxley): Ah, my white knighting hero who I never asked to be my white knight. This really is Tumblr.
NC: So that was Demolition Man. Is it a comedy, is it an action film, is it smart, is it dumb, and most importantly, does it hold up? Honestly, with no joking whatsoever, this is actually far better now than it has ever been in the past.
[Clips of the movie play as he gives his closing statement.]
NC (vo): When it came out, the action cliches were pretty standard, so at the time, it wasn't a big hit. But now in 2015, these cliches have taken on an identity of their own; silly, but kind of admirable. This works especially now because the future they created in this movie is almost kind of true of the world we created now. Our society, thanks to social media, is trying to be more about the group. [A picture of the Practically Networked forums is shown.] Forums, fanpages, causes to get behind. [A picture of people around a sign saying "No to bullying!" is shown.] Hell, if there's a hater online, then everyone wants to get together to prove how wrong he is. Compare that to the 80s and 90s where everything was about the individual. [Picture of The Wolf of Wall Street is shown] Wall Street, make money for your own. [Picture of Commando] Action films, mano a mano. [Picture of First Blood] Emotions are for the weak! But the great thing about it is that neither side is the villain in this. They're just products of their environment. The future has less choice, but they've also obliterated murder for 16 years. The past is anarchy and violence, but they also had more rights and choices. They both have their pros and cons. I know I joke about the future being a commentary of online culture, but without even realizing it, that's kind of what they did. The Internet is filled with people who are overly sensitive and can't take a joke, but it's also filled with attention-hungry idiots who only want to anger and antagonize those people. But again, no one side is the bad guy, they both have villains. They're the extremists who want everything one way. Whether it's perfection or absolute anarchy, both result in taking away diversity and free will, while the heroes are the ones willing to make a compromise. Stallone has trouble fitting in, but he doesn't say his world was completely right. Eventually, both sides realize that the two have to find some middle ground in order to keep balance. It's a commentary that wouldn't work as well back then, but works much better now comparing our new world to the one of the past, our current attitude to the attitude of the 90s. Now don't get me wrong. Some things don't work especially well, like the action's not really that strong, and some of the cliches might be a little too stupid for their own good. But the writing, the ideas, the commentary, and yes, even the acting, which is honestly pitch perfect from every performer, makes it stand out.
NC: I know it sounds crazy, but Demolition Man has actually gotten a lot better with time.
NC (vo): Part of that being that they intentionally date the hero and villain by putting them in the future. Dating it surprisingly made it timeless. It just knew which areas to update and which areas to leave alone. I'm totally serious when I say this dumb, cliched, overblown action film is actually one of the smarter summer movies to come out of the past few decades.
NC: But that still doesn't answer my three seashells question. [Stroking his Appa plushie] Malcolm, Tamara, begin! [The lights dim as Malcolm and Tamara stand on their ends of the whiteboard which have their own ideas of the seashells.] Tamara, what do you have for me?
Tamara: Well, I've come to the conclusion that the first shell can be used as a scooping mechanism. You can scoop out the, um...
Tamara: Yep, and then you can use the second shell and put them together as a grabbing device so that you can actually grab out the, um...
Tamara: And then you can use the third to kind of just scoop out...any residuals...
NC: Intriguing. Malcolm, what do you have to say?
Malcolm: Well, I had a theory that these seashells are put into a device that shreds them down to their most basic particles.
NC: Basic particles?
Malcolm: Those particles are then turned into wadded paper for which is then used for...down there.
NC: So your suggestion for replacing toilet paper is to just to...make toilet paper?
NC: That...is...brilliant! The world will call you a hero and I will marry you and mooch off your money! Guards, take her away!
Tamara: Wait, we have guards?
[One of the officers puts her up against the wall, cuffs her and takes her away.]
NC: You have done well, my gentle genius. Your future has just begun. Come with me! [NC grabs Malcolm's hand and pulls him away. The two of them are flying in the sky before they land in a room.] Hail, your new Lord and savior!
[The two of them are at Midwest Media Expo where people cheer for Malcolm, some of them even cosplaying. Malcolm goes to shake hands and the crowd hugs him while they chant his name. He takes a bow, kisses a girl's hand, and then takes in the cheers. An epilogue is added to the scene.]
Epilogue: In the years to follow, Malcolm Ray outlawed all crime, leading to decades of uninterrupted peace. Mother Teresa came back from the dead just to get his autograph. When asked how he achieved such amazing feats, he replied, "I'm not sure."
[And we finally go to credits]
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John Spartan: Phoenix!
A DVD copy of Demolition Man made an appearance in the review for Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement