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|“||Is it cold in here or is it just me?||„|
|~ Simon Phoenix's most famous quote.|
|“||Raymond Cocteau: I hadn't counted on this, but I must say you've worked out beautifully. People are terrified of you.
Simon Phoenix: What's new? People have always been terrified of me.
|~ Simon Phoenix talking to Raymond Cocteau.|
Simon Phoenix is the main antagonist of the 1993 sci-fi action film Demolition Man. He is the most crazed and dangerous psychopathic criminal of the 20th century, and only the toughest cop could be a match for him. He is John Spartan's arch-nemesis.
He was portrayed by Wesley Snipes.
Phoenix was a wanted psychopathic criminal responsible for many crimes like theft, kidnapping, robbery, and murder. He declared his own kingdom in South Central within Los Angeles, having all other street gangs, drug dealers and even some murderers under his control.
In his last crime in 1996, he made 30 people hostage for trespassing at his building, but when his arch-enemy, LAPD officer Detective John Spartan interfered, he set alight tanks of C4 and after a brief fight with Spartan, he was captured and taken away before the building was blown to pieces.
Meanwhile, other cops have found the corpses of the hostages with Phoenix being found guilty of the murders and condemned. But he framed Spartan for not caring about the hostages and as a result of John too was wrongly accused of killing the civilians, and the two were instead frozen in a cryogenic chamber, remaining there for years.
36 years later, society has changed drastically, with San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles being merged in one large so-called utopia named San Angeles. Phoenix was released from his confinement with a rehabilitation program that gave him astounding new skills and extra strength to help him adapt to the future.
The reason for his programming was to kill Edgar Friendly, the leader of the resistance group called Scraps who lived in the sewers of San Angeles since the society of Dr. Raymond Cocteau first established. Phoenix reassembles a new gang of not only the hardened residents of the sewers but also half a dozen defrosted, bloodthirsty criminals of the 20th century he requested released from the cryo-prison and decides to kill Cocteau who released him, setting on his own goals to spread chaos again.
Simon Phoenix (in a scene cut out from the film to shorten running time) shoots and kills Spartan's old friend Zachary Lamb just when Lenina Huxley and John Spartan go after him on the roads of San Angeles. He was pursued by Sgt. John Spartan of the old LAPD once again. During a car chase, Phoenix admits that the hostages Spartan tried to save in 1996 were already dead before he even arrived, meaning that Spartan was sent into rehabilitation for no reason.
With the help of Edgar Friendly and Lt. Lenina Huxley of the SAPD along with the armed Scraps, Spartan breaks into the facility and fights Phoenix, who uses his futuristic skills to his advantage. According to what was cut out, John Spartan kills newer henchmen to Simon Phoenix and battles the goon played by Jesse “The Body” Ventura named Adam who did the work for Phoenix in killing Raymond Cocteau and defeats Adam just before going up against Simon Phoenix one last time.
During an intense battle, Spartan smashes a container of the potent cryogenic liquid against the floor and leaps to grab a malfunctioning crane arm overhead, as the floor and everything in contact with it freezes solid, including Phoenix. Spartan then kicks Phoenix's frozen head off after shouting "Heads up!", reminiscing Simon's predictable loss of his head, and it hits the ground before smashing to pieces.
The damaged equipment in the room then explodes, with Spartan escaping just before the cryo-prison is destroyed, along with Phoenix's decapitated frozen body and the criminals he attempted to set free, ending his reign of chaos forever.
Simon Phoenix appears in the videogame adaption of Demolition Man and serves as the game's main antagonist and the final boss.
Simon Phoenix is an African-American man with an athletic and muscular build, shaven blonde curly hair, and a small black beard. He has heterochromia, his right eye is brown, and his left eye is blue. Both of his ears are pierced with silver looped earrings, two on the right, one on the left. In 1996, he wore a black leather jacket with red lining and a black and yellow checker pattern on the back, a gray shirt, and black and white striped trousers. In 2032, he now wears blue dungarees bearing the cryo-prison logo on the chest with an orange vest with a silver stripe underneath and later wore grey underground combat fatigues.
Simon Phoenix is a ruthless and sick-minded anarchist with no other aims than torturing, killing, committing mayhem and driving the society around him into chaos for his own sadistic pleasure. He also loves playing tricks to others, though his tricks are usually incredibly cruel and cause the deaths of dozens of people.
Though impulsive, maniacal, bloodthirsty and barbaric, Phoenix can be highly intelligent, collected, opportunistic, manipulative, polite and even charming if that could work in his favor, as seen when he speaks with Raymond Cocteau. Phoenix also acknowledges that he is completely evil, but does not seem bothered and instead enjoys it.
He is also a very humorous man, and seems to not take his atrocious acts or his fight against Spartan very seriously (much like the Joker) - though, at the end of the movie, Phoenix gets frustrated by Spartan's relentless pursuit and escaping his attacks, resulting in him losing his coolness and revealing the monster within, as an incredibly wrathful, narcissistic, shameless and remorseless psychopath.
He had a reason, though, to criticize Cocteau's society, saying that he can't remove people's free will. He affirmed this, however, only for his selfish purposes, as he wants total chaos rather than an extreme lawful society.
- Phoenix's last name simply came from the mythological firebird of Egyptian legend which indicated the legendary criminal's desire to bring back greed, cruelty, and anarchy into the world, including the seemingly serene city of San Angeles and make all the chaotic madness last forever.
- Simon Phoenix has two different colored eyes. A condition called heterochromia iridis.
- Sylvester Stallone wanted Jackie Chan to play the part of Simon Phoenix, Chan declined, since Asian audiences don't like the idea of actors who have always played heroes suddenly playing evil characters.
- During rehersals, Wesley Snipes starting reciting his lines in Spanish, and they thought it was funny.
- Wesley Snipes' kicks and punches sometimes look lurchy and awkward. Snipes is an accomplished black belt in real life, and his kicks and punches were so fast that they blurred on-camera. Hence the producers asked him to slow them down.
- According to the commentary found on the Region 1 DVD, there were some scenes deleted from the movie including a subplot involving the murder of Zachary Lamb by Phoenix.
- Wesley Snipes hated his blond dye job, and shaved his head as soon as filming was complete. After this movie's release, professional NBA player Dennis Rodman began dying his hair different colors, a look that was inspired by Simon Phoenix.
- Sir Nigel Hawthorne (who plays Raymond Cocteau in the movie) didn't get along with Wesley Snipes during filming.
- According to Denis Leary, Snipes insisted on doing his own action scenes. After Snipes finished his scenes, the crew would film scenes with the stunt people.
- Wesley Snipes later worked with Sylvester Stallone again in The Expendables 3, where they play allies instead of enemies.