The genre of science-fiction is obsessed with a dystopian future world. Typically, in these film, technology shown is beyond the realm of imagination, the world is trying to survive a deadly virus or an evil technological genius. In short, the future looks bleak. Though some of the movies are bang on with their future depiction and profess technology that either inspires people or is a reflection of a future want. But then there are some movies which are way off target. Here is the list of sci-fi movies that got the future wrong:
12. Timecop (1994)
‘Timecop’ was a huge hit and the only reason for that was Jean-Claude Van Damme’s action sequences and the flashing technology. The movie used time traveling like a subway. Van Damme kept traveling into the past and back to the present with a single touch button. The technology or the hypothesis of the time traveling machine was non existent just like the story line of the movie. The movie was set in 2004 and had a exclusive time traveling machine and here we are in 2017 and we still haven’t figured out time traveling. A bad assumption.
11. Frankenstein (1931)
‘Frankenstein’ had proposed that in the near future we would be able to bring people back from the dead. It has taken ages but we have only come as close as organ transplantation. But we still haven’t figured out a way to make a person alive again. Also, there were some machines that could calibrate a human body and it was effectively used in the movie. Such an equipment has never been invented till date. Even though the proposition seemed huge and uncertain, there were people who believed that it would be possible in the near future. We have come very far since then and we still don’t have an answer. A huge miscalculation.
10. Escape From L.A. (1996)
The movie is a sequel to the earlier ‘Escape from New York’ a far more believable movie. But this movie just blows thing way out of proportion. It makes an unbelievable suggestion that a girl can easily guise herself to get into the Air Force One and can kidnap the President with her team. Also, an earthquake has isolated Los Angeles which is geographically impossible. Hence, it has become a huge prison because of its isolation. But the most significant misfire of the movie is its use of the Hologram Technology. The movie is obsessed with it. The technology till date has only been used in concert shows. But in the movie, the technology is used by villains to confuse the actors and plan a sudden attack, to create fake people etc. The technology is used as a tool of deception with no explanation of its workings whatsoever.
9. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
‘Fahrenheit’ has a lot of good things going for it but predicting future is certainly not one of them. The movie proclaims that the biggest enemy of the government would be Books and they would have to destroy each and every one of them to mitigate the risk. Not only that, they have employed Firemen to destroy every book that there is. So much for creative freedom. The future isn’t anything like that. Yes, people are fascinated by Kindle more than books but that is no where near what that the movie suggested. Yes, the movie was right in suggesting that the government would aimlessly destroy things. Things that may foster an independent thought but I don’t think government sees books as a threat now or anywhere in near future.
8. The Matrix (1999)
According to ‘The Matrix’, we should have been living in deep oceans away from the destroyed world in tunnels and caves. A few precious people of our world should have been capable of manipulating their senses and live in a simulated reality. None of this ever happened though. We never came to the point where we would have needed the services of Neo and his ultimate sacrifice. ‘The Matrix’ is highly ambitious, but sadly, we are nowhere close to the world that ‘The Matrix’ depicts. Our world is still not as much of technological heaven as shown in the film.
7. Fortress (1993)
The movie seems to be inspired by the laws of China as it shows U.S.A as a country where having more than a child is a criminal offence. The protagonist of the movie is serving his sentence in a maximum security prison for having a second child. If that wasn’t enough, the security prison is shown as automated with only a few men overlooking the proceedings. Yes, the concept of private security prisons have been around for some time now. Initially, it seems to be a movie about prison escape but the absurdity of the prison makes the plot seem even more unfathomable. The amount of technology the prison seems to have, I don’t think even the entire world will be able to accommodate that in near future.
6. Brazil (1985)
The world of ‘Brazil’ has too much going on in it, there is excess of everything. Excess of transportation, excess of LED screens, excess of robots etc. It seems like the movie is trying too hard to portray the future. It also shows a future where everyone is just a faceless number. And the outlook is digitally advanced but the daily objects aren’t. But if we look at our world today, it is nothing like that. Everyone is fighting for attention, trying to make it big in the corporate jungle and our world has been fundamentally digitalised. The movie shows exactly the opposite. Hence, fails us and the future.
5. Strange Days (1995)
‘Strange Days’ is a well directed movie and is full of thrilling sequences. But it has a twisted concept of the future. The movie fantasized a future that was only four years down the lane but every aspect of it seemed quite distant. Firstly, the entire setup of Los Angeles seemed ridiculous. It looked like a place heavily decorated with things that seemed tech savvy. Furthermore, the movie asserts a disc technology which allows people to connect their minds to a disc and store their memories. We still haven’t been able to achieve this kind of sophistication in the field of technology. Also, the kind of clothes on display in the movie was not only weird but also impractical.
4. 12 Monkeys (1995)
’12 Monkeys’ is an ambitious movie but in the wings of its ambitions, it loses its flight in the world of reality. The animals don’t seem to be freely running around, we still keep them in The Zoos. It showcases the technology of memory diversion where memories can be altered. It also has its sophisticated system of time traveling. Also, it professes that the technology shall hinder human interaction when it actually is facilitating it today. The movie has a cult following for its humanistic theories but not for its vision of the future.
3. A Clockwork Orange(1971)
‘A Clockwork Orange’ is a classic movie. The movie is a piece of original writing and direction. Yes, there are some scenes which are very disturbing and difficult to watch. In hindsight, these are the scenes that create the madness around the characters. But the only thing that the movie shouldn’t be proud of is its depiction of future. The future as we live today is nothing like it. The prisons are not overflowing with criminals that we would feel the need of something like Ludovico technique, an experimental aversion therapy for rehabilitating criminals within two weeks. Furthermore, the reason the movie gets the depiction of the future so wrong is because it doesn’t want to make a balanced claim. It wants to create a wild image that it deems fit. Nevertheless, it still was right in predicting the amount of violence the future holds.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Yet another masterpiece helmed by Stanley Kubrick makes the list. Another classic and another wild guess of the future. The movie is absolutely stunning in terms of the story it tells. But we still haven’t made any contacts with the aliens, we don’t have an intelligent mainframe that can perform space missions on its own and we also don’t have stately flights to the moon. The man still can’t control his past or future and is nowhere as powerful as depicted in the movie. Though, there are certain aspects of technology (for e.g. tablets) that the film absolutely got right, but overall the film is nowhere near what it predicted 2001 in terms of space exploration to be.
1. Blade Runner (1982)
‘Blade Runner’ is an amazing movie for all its brilliant special effects and human philosophies. It is one of the greatest science-fi movie ever made and is very original. But it totally misses the mark with its future depiction. Firstly, we still don’t have people traveling on other planets and vehicles for inter-planetary travel. Los Angeles doesn’t get rains round the clock and the abstract architecture built is nowhere to be seen. The robots don’t seem very human even after such revolutionising technology and flying cars is still a distant dream. The movie is set in 2019 and yet we can certainly claim that the technologies it claims still won’t come to fruition in the next three years.
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