Demolition Man is one of my favourite movies of all time; it’s a super fun, early 90’s action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you have not seen it, I strongly recommend you seek it out.
For those of you who don’t know, Demolition Man opens in a post-apocalyptic LA (1996) where gang warfare is the order of the day. Psychotic gang leader Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) has taken a bus load of hostages and the John ‘Demolition Man’ Spartan (Sylvester Stallone), disobeys orders to take down Phoenix.
Unfortunately, Spartan is falsely accused of manslaughter for the deaths of the hostages and both Phoenix and Spartan are sent to a ‘cryo prison’. When Simon Phoenix escapes into a crime free utopian LA in 2032, the police are not prepared to deal with his level of violence. They have no choice but to defrost John Spartan so he can take down Phoenix again.
Take a look at the trailer and bask in the 90’s awesome!
Here are the ten things I think Demolition Man predicted about the future:
1) Arnie’s political career
We all laughed in 1993 at the concept of Arnold Schwarzenegger running for any kind of political office, never mind the presidency. But after two terms as the Governor of California it’s not looking so un-likely anymore. Sure he’s getting back into movies now but who’s to say that a 61st amendment allowing foreigners to run for the presidency is out of the question.
2) The rise of video calling
It’s not an early 90’s action movie without some gratuitous nudity, in this case delivered through a video call. It’s an odd sort of video call that starts without you actually having to answer. Sure video calling existed before 1993 but it was not until broadband connections became more prevalent that it existed in the form shown in the movie. You could even argue that Demolition man invented ‘Sexting’!
3) Self-driving Cars
Almost all the cars in the film (with the notable exception of the red oldsmobile) are self-driving. With Google leading the charge on self-driving cars the technology is already here. Google’s latest cars have driven over 300,000 miles without an incident. It won’t be long until they are a common sight on our roads and you saw it on Demolition Man first!
4) Taco Bell is winning the franchise wars
In the film, the only restaurants are Taco Bell. They won the mysterious franchise wars and are the only chain left standing. While Taco Bell have not won the wars yet, they have just come up with the Waffle Taco breakfast. With technology that advanced no other chain can stand before them.
5) Wesley Snipes is a hardened criminal
Okay so he didn’t lead a gang of hardened criminals and murder a school bus full of children, but he did commit some pretty serious tax evasion. He had a prison sentence and everything (admittedly it was not a cryro prision, but still).
That’s right the modern office joy of teleconferences has made it to 2032. For some reason however each of the TV screens has some nice table space which is a little odd considering they are not physically there. It’s a nice touch when they spin round and follow the speaker through the room. This was pretty novel stuff back in 1993, but is common place now… just as they predicted.
7) Biometric implants
Everyone in the shiny utopia that is future LA has an implant they use as ID, as medical trackers and a virtual wallet. While we already have medical implants to monitor insulin levels and control pacemakers, with the rise of NFC on phones it’s only a matter of time until you will have tiny implants in your hand.
8) Tablet computers
Who needs an iPad when you have this wonderful little device in your hand? It’s perfect for the cryo prison warden on the go! Now say what you want about the other things on this list but this was some damm good forward thinking. Sure (huge) tablet computers existed in 1993 but they didn’t yet have full video calling as a feature.
9) Voice activated appliances
Everything from the lights, to the cars, to the automated ticket machine for breaking the verbal morality statute has voice controls in Demolition Man’s future. We already have siri and Google voice search, how long before they take away our profanity?!
10) YouTube instructional videos
In one of my personal favourite scenes, the police resort to instructional videos to find out how to arrest a ‘Maniac’. Like many youtube videos it has a similar end result.