Demolition University (1997, directed by Kevin Tenney)


Terrorists have taken over the local power and water plant and are threatening to poison the water supply if their demands are not meant.  Among those that they are holding hostage is a group of college students who were on what would have otherwise been the most boring field trip of their lives.  While Colonel Gentry (Robert Forster) tries to negotiate with the terrorists, one college student, Lenny Slater (Corey Haim), takes matters into his own deadly hands.  Lenny also finds time to ask track star Jenny (Ami Dolenz) to go to the homecoming dance with him.

How many times can the exact same thing happen to the same person?  That’s what you might expect Lenny Slater to ask as he finds himself sneaking around and taking out terrorists one-by-one.  Demolition University is a sequel to Demolition High, with Lenny Slater now in college and a member of the school’s football team.  What’s strange is that, even though Haim is playing the same character from the first film, no one mentions the events of Demolition High.  No one mentions that Lenny not only blew up his old school but he saved the entire midwest from being bombed into a nuclear ash heap.  When Lenny tries to tell Prof. Harris (Laraine Newman!) that it’s obvious that terrorists have taken over the power plant, she ignores him because he has a history of playing pranks.  But he also has a history of tracking down and killing terrorists!  I would listen to him.

Demolition High wasn’t good but it was watchable.  Demolition University is just dull.  Haim actually gives a better performance here than he did in the first film, if just because it’s easier to buy him as a college student instead of as a high school student.  But he’s actually barely in the film.  Most of the running time is taken up with Robert Forster trying to negotiate with the leader of the terrorists.  That’s kind of cool because Robert Forster was the man but the movie still seems like what Die Hard would have been if it had just been two hours of Paul Gleason standing outside the tower while Bruce Willis killed people offscreen.  Even when we do get Lenny fighting the the terrorists, the action scenes feel flat and interchangeable.  There’s nothing to really distinguish them from every other 90s action film that you’ve ever seen.

Demolition University has higher production values than Demolition High and it actually looks like a real movie but it’s just not much fun.  I’m not surprised that there was never a Demolition Grad School.

One response to “Demolition University (1997, directed by Kevin Tenney)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 7/13/20 — 7/19/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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