First of all, it’s important to note just how much I love Demolition Man. Sure, it can be considered a guilty pleasure film, but that hasn’t stopped me from watching it time and time again. Something about it is just so fun and appealing, giving it a longevity beyond many of Stallone’s other movies.
I was much younger when I initially saw Demolition Man, and I remember thinking how cool some of the future tech looked in the movie, never expecting them to become real. Looking back at the film, it’s kind of shocking to see how much the movie got right!
3 THINGS THAT CAME TRUE
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Political Career
Back in 1993 the idea of muscle-head Arnold Schwarzenegger entering into politics was utterly ridiculous. The man was still making movies in much the same vein as Stallone and while many actors have dipped into politics before, it’s not expected from a blood and guts action hero. Lo and behold it happened! While obviously he didn’t become President of the United States (being that he’s not a citizen) Schwarzenegger did go into politics becoming the governor of California for a couple terms before diving back into his movie career.
Self-Driving Cars & GPS/Computers Talking in Cars
In the 90s this was a novel idea, right up there with hover cars and such, but it’s actually fairly prescient as computers have taken over just about every aspect of our vehicles including driving for some of them. GPS isn’t something new, but as the years have gone by, the technology has become better and better and it’s not uncommon to have your car “talk” to you to tell you where to go. What’s better is that many cars will sync to your smart phones, meaning that you can schedule tasks, look up information, etc, all while still driving. Just like in the movie.
Sure, not every care can drive itself, but the tech is out there and there are cars on the road right now in the world driving themselves and others around. It’s not widespread, but who knows where they’ll be in a decade or so. Perhaps they’ll become more commonplace. Now if only we can get that protection foam to pop out…
Wait, wait, wait, wait…You’re telling me that you can fit an entire computer on a tiny little screen that fits in your hand?! These were the thoughts many of us had when watching Demolition many all those years ago and considering the bulky computers of the early 90s, it certainly seemed like science fiction. They could do everything on those tablets, including video-chat, but what was fiction is now a reality.
The advent of smart tablets (iPads and the many others out there too numerous to name) have put the powers of computers in our hands, allowing us to essentially work from the palms of our hands no matter where we are. Facetime communication lets us see and talk with friends/loved ones in a flash, while multitasking and doing other things. And they look sleeker than they did in the movie!
Honestly, the level of prescience Demolition Man had into the future is kind of scary. Who would have thought a Stallone starring action flick would be so on the spot in terms of what the years ahead would hold for us. But as with anything that tries to predict the future, inevitably some things are wrong, or haven’t come to pass.
3 THINGS THAT HAVEN’T COME TRUE…YET
While the criminal justice system and prisons are overflowing like in the movie, we haven’t adopted a freezing policy for inmates just yet. In the film people sentence for their crimes are frozen in large chunks of ice, while their mind is augmented to better suit society and in general create better people. I can’t begin to tell you how unlikely that’s ever going to be (think of all the rights being violated!), but it’s a nifty idea for dealing with people in the future according to movies.
This, of course, isn’t even to mention the fact that cryogenically freezing people in itself is still something that’s not 100% nor close to being a reality. While it’s a popular concept in movies, the real tech behind it is still in it’s infancy and scientists have yet to successfully revive a frozen person.
Citations for Cursing
Thankfully (for me especially as those around the Cinelinx offices can tell you), there’s no automatic ticketing machine in every room that will give you a fine for using curse words. In the film, any time dirty language is used they’re issued a citation and expected to pay for doing so. Sure, the fine is only a dollar, but it’s censorship at it’s absolute worst!
This day and age, however, with people becoming offended at the slightest things and the media pandering to them, I worry we’re heading for just this sort of thing. In a world where everything you have to say is politically correct or not in danger of offending anyone, these anti-cursing citations don’t seem like such a big leap…
The 3 Seashells
This is probably the biggest mystery in all of filmmaking, how in the HELL do the three seashells work! While the screenwriter has hinted at it, we’ve never had a definitive answer, and it’s haunted us for the last couple decades. Looks like no one has quite figured it out yet, or made ANY advancements in the toilet department as the tried and true toilet paper is still in existence and not likely going anywhere. I have to say, I hope this one never comes to pass, as I would hate for my social status to be influenced by whether or not I can figure out how a restroom works.
While Demolition Man takes place in 2032, many of the things featured in the movie have already come to pass. There’s still time for cryo-prisons and seashell based sanitary devices, but I’m not thinking those are going to happen any time soon. There’s a lot to love about this film and it’s great to watch it again knowing the things it predicted long ago. What’s your favorite technology from the film? What do you hope will turn out to be true? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!