To the list of failed cinematic action heroines like TANK GIRL (1994) and BARB WIRE (1996), now add THE DEMOLITIONIST, an ambitious but fatally derivative and tepid sci-fi thriller.
In Metro City, where Mayor Grimbaum (Susan Tyrrell) has issued a no-guns edict, gang leader Mad Dog Burne (Richard Grieco) is rescued from his execution by his minions. He soon discovers that one of his followers, Alyssa Lloyd (Nicole Eggert), is an undercover cop and kills her.
She is brought back to life by Prof. Jack Crowley (Bruce Abbott) through the use of an experimental drug, as part of a program designed to turn her into an unstoppable warrior. Though she resists at first (the drugs give her horrific nightmares), she ultimately goes through with her training and
emerges as a supercop dubbed the Demolitionist, who begins to wipe out Metro City's crime.
In the course of stopping a bank robbery, the Demolitionist's actions almost result in the death of an innocent young girl, and Mayor Grimbaum decides that she should be terminated--violently. But "Demo" is rescued by Crowley, who helps her recuperate and sends her back out on the street to
destroy Mad Dog's gang. This she does, leading to a final confrontation with Mad Dog, whom she kills with an overdose of the drug that gives her life.
THE DEMOLITIONIST marks the directorial debut of Robert Kurtzman, who first conceived and was originally to helm 1996's FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. Unfortunately, the script by Brian DiMuccio and Dino Vindeni (from a story by Kurtzman and his wife Anne) amounts to a carbon copy of 1987's ROBOCOP, from
its basic plot to individual scenes (Demo being blasted down by the cops she's supposedly in league with, a key villain's meltdown death, etc.). What DEMOLITIONIST lacks is its inspiration's satiric viewpoint, or enough of a budget to create any memorable action scenes.
Indeed, the film takes way too long to get to Demo's war on crime, frittering away nearly half its length on well-intentioned but ineffective character drama involving Alyssa's transformation and her relationship with Dr. Crowley. Genre fans will get a kick out of all the familiar faces in the
supporting cast (Tyrrell, Tom Savini, Heather Langenkamp, Reggie Bannister, and an uncredited Bruce Campbell), but they're no substitute for the movie's lack of honest thrills or imagination. (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: To the list of failed cinematic action heroines like TANK GIRL (1994) and BARB WIRE (1996), now add THE DEMOLITIONIST, an ambitious but fatally derivative and tepid sci-fi thriller. In Metro City, where Mayor Grimbaum (Susan Tyrrell) has issued a no-guns… (more)