Sylvester Stallone’s ’90s film Demolition Man featured a star-studded cast and was a huge hit with viewers at the time.
And the 1993 sci-fi film has been given a new lease of life in recent years as fans eager to rewatch the epic are convinced it predicted the future.
Viewers noticed a whole host of eerie similarities between the futuristic, pacifist utopia of San Angeles — formerly Los Angeles — and the 2020s.
The action movie sees John Spartan (Sylvester) and crime lord Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) sentenced to a frozen incarceration known as “CryoPrison” in 1996.
But 36 years later, in the year 2032, Phoenix is resuscitated on parole and embarks on a murder spree, with Spartan then teaming up with police officer Lenina (Sandra Bullock) to catch him.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed that a disease spreading through San Angeles bears more of a similarity to the Covid-19 pandemic, while its technological advancements were also very specific.
From running out of toilet paper to using video calls and no handshakes, MailOnline takes a look at all the reasons fans think Demolition Man predicted the future.
NO SHAKE HAND
Demolition Man sees the spread of a disease in San Angeles which has seen the fictional city ban all forms of physical contact to stop the spread.
Instead of the traditional handshake, one scene sees two characters giving a non-contact high-five.
The smiling pair enthusiastically advance to the high-five but stop their hands before they make contact, instead moving them in a circle through the air.
In another scene, Spartan tries to shake someone’s hand, but is warned by Lenina, “We’re not used to physical contact greetings.”
The lack of physical contact was eerily reflective of today’s society, when public health experts urged people to stop shaking hands at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The advice was given in a bid to combat the spread of the virus and people have instead started to adopt nudges as a polite greeting instead.
NO TOILET PAPER
A scene from the comedy also sees Spartan hilariously questioning Lenina about why there’s no toilet paper in the bathroom.
He whispers in her ear: ‘Look, I don’t know if you know this, but you’re out of toilet paper.’
But after another character shares her confusion, Lenina confirms that they’re out of toilet paper, but instead use three seashells.
A laughing Lenina tells her colleagues: “They used wadded paper handles in the 20th.”
Although toilet paper has not been eradicated from society, viewers have pointed out that it has similarities to toilet paper shortages amid the Covid crisis.
At the start of the pandemic, people began to panic buying toilet paper in bulk, fearing that supermarkets would run out during the lockdown, leaving the shelves completely bare.
USE OF VIDEOCONFERENCING
Demolition Man also introduced the use of video conferencing, and it is used as a regular form of communication in San Angeles.
One scene sees Dr. Raymond Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorne) talking to a group of people at a board meeting, but communicates with them through a video call.
He is seen seated at the head of the table while large gray computers are placed where meeting members would normally sit.
Computers rotate around the room to follow Dr. Cocteau as he speaks, the faces of the participants appearing on the screens.
He also predicted iPad and iPhone usage as Lenina pops up during a video call on a silver tablet-like computer, hinting at upcoming technological advancements.
Although the film’s version of video conferencing was slightly larger than real life, it oddly predicted the use of technology in day-to-day communication.
During the Covid pandemic, companies have become dependent on video conferencing software, such as Zoom, to communicate with their employees.
As staff were forced to work from home during the lockdown, bosses instead turned to video calls to continue hosting team meetings and talking face-to-face with staff.
Doctor’s appointments and school classes have also been held via video conferencing during the pandemic, as technology is still very much a part of society.
Another technological advance that proved to be very accurate was the introduction of self-driving cars.
In the film, Lenina is seen sitting in her self-driving police car as she navigates on her own, while on a video call with her colleagues.
Although the introduction of such an invention might have seemed very futuristic at the time, it is now a concept not so far off.
Google led the way with self-driving cars after launching spin-off Waymo, which worked on building self-driving minivans and testing the vehicles.
Waymo began working on self-driving vehicles in 2009 and launched a trial of the technology in Phoenix, which has already been marred by attacks on its vehicles.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s company Tesla has also built a range of self-driving vehicles with “autopilot capabilities” and many have hit the road.
By the end of last year, Tesla had rolled out the “completely self-driving” feature to more than 285,000 people in North America, according to the company.
However, Teslas accounted for nearly 70% of the 329 crashes in which advanced driver assistance systems were involved, along with a majority of fatalities and serious injuries associated with them.
Although it may be years before the use of these cars becomes widespread, this is an invention that has been heavily invested in and tested in recent years.
THE POLITICAL CAREER OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Arnold Schwarzenegger was a popular actor in the 1990s, but Demolition Man successfully predicted his future political career.
In a scene from the film, Spartan is seen in a car with Lenina when she reveals that she had been watching newsreels from the Schwarzenegger Library.
To which Spartan replies in shock: “The Schwarzenegger library?
And Lenina confirms: “Yes the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn’t he an actor when you were-‘
But interrupting, Spartan asks: “Stop, he was president?”
Lenina said, “Yes! Even though he wasn’t born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment to-“, but Spartan interrupts him again, saying he doesn’t “want to know”.
Although Arnold did not become President of the United States, he pursued a political career a few years later in 2003.
He served as California’s 38th governor between 2003 and 2011 and has previously shared his desire to run for president.
Arnold, a native of Austria, became a naturalized citizen in 1983 and said he would have run against Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump if he could have.
“If I was born in America, I would have raced,” he told Adweek in 2016. “Because now? It was a very good time to enter the race.
VOICE ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY
In the fictional futuristic society, a multitude of devices, from lights to cars, use voice-activated technology.
Residents can turn their lights on and off and use an array of technologies using only their voice, much like our own society today.
Now, the virtual assistant Siri and Amazon Alexa both listen for voice commands before providing audio responses to the user.
These are just two flashy devices that use voice commands to operate and are sure to be the first in a long line of such inventions.
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