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-this-is-is! And we knew who the other Meh-Yan-this-is-is 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 or alien 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!
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]
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: 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 Maximum Overdrive 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: He didn't pay his taxes!
[Spartan is lowered into the cryo prison]
[Quick clip of The Empire Strikes Back]
Leia: I love you.
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!
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: 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? [Arrow pointing to Huxley's eyebrows] Even swearing gets you a fine.
Lenina Huxley: Sanctimonious asshole! [The ticket machine buzzes and she gets a ticket. 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!
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.
Warden William Smithers: Mr. Simon Phoenix. One of our first and most illustrious members.
NC (vo): (as Warden) You will steal me an Everlasting Gobstopper. (normal) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, then what's Rob Schneider doing in this movie?
Huxley: Not many people get a second chance, John Spartan.
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) 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 it back under the table) Anywho...
NC (vo): He rejoins an old friend who's so wise, sage-y and black that you're kind of wondering how the hell he never made it in a Stephen King film.
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, [Spartan] listens to what are typical catchy tunes.
DJ: The number one request of the day: Armour Hot Dogs.
Huxley and Garcia: (singing) Loud kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox. 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, Phoenix is trying to break into the weapons display case)
Curator: What seems to be your boggle?
Phoenix: My boggle?
NC (vo): (as Phoenix) Christ, I woke up in Canada. (normal) Actually, I wonder if the next song is this.
(We get the "Don't you put it in your mouth" song on the radio)
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: 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: Found something new and improved! (Snipes: 3)
NC (vo): Let's see if Stallone can retort.
Spartan: You're on TV! (Stallone: 3)
NC (vo): By god, they're just unstoppable.
Phoenix: Well, I 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!)
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.
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!
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)