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5 Older Movies Set in 2022

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by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published November 14th 2022
Films set in 2022 didn't really foresee the future well
I recently introduced someone to one of my favourite science fiction films, and what he picked up on straight away was that it was set in 2022. The film is almost 50 years old, and yet it was incredibly prescient about the time we live in.

This got me thinking – what about other films set in this current year that were made years ago? A quick check told me there are a large number of them, not all of which I've seen. In fact, I've only seen a few, and of those five were made after I was born, and so I will look at that quintet and see how close they are to the reality we know.
2022, film, movie, future, guess
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I do think it goes without saying that no-one could gave foreseen the Pandemic that changed a lot of the world, but apart from that, I've put these in the order I liked them.

The Purge (2013)
Directed by James DeMonaco

I watched this one when it came out and I am not a huge fan. The concept of the movie doesn't do it for me, and the acting is mediocre at best. To be honest, it's not really that well done across the board, in my opinion. Basically, the film says that in 2022 the US unemployment rate is right down, as are criminal convictions, because one night a year since (I think) 2014, everyone is allowed to kill anyone they want and commit any crime they want with impunity. Well, it's 2022 now, and nothing like this is even close. I think. Some recent court decisions notwithstanding. But a mediocre film that did not do the foresight thing well.

No Escape (1994)
Directed by Martin Campbell

An interesting little scifi film that depicts 2022 as much more futuristic than it has turned out to be. It was sort of typical of the futuristic concepts that came out in the 1990s, especially about how they foresaw crime and punishment going. In this case, a corporation runs a prison island and the prisoners basically run riot over everything, despite the prison's governor thinking he's in charge. I do know there are prisons that exist like their own little cities in some parts of the world, if documentaries are to be believed. I haven't seen this film in a long time, but I do remember there is a lot of action and it is quite an intense movie, especially in the second half as the main characters try to escape. Looking forward from then to today, a lot of prisons are now run by private corporations, where saving a dollar and delivering to shareholders is more important than prisoner welfare. And, as I mentioned, some prisons exist as cities. As to whether they are this corrupt, that is not for me to say.

Time Runner (1993)
Directed by Michael Mazo

This Mark Hamill film is not the greatest film ever made, but it is a fun diversion, and is another I haven't seen in quite a few years. The 2022 depicted in this film is filled with alien invaders and military space stations, and so its scifi-ness is overt, and its accuracy is really off. Anyway, from this "future", Mark Hamill goes back in time to stop things and warn people, and it's sort of like The Terminator, and the ending is really confusing with changes made to the time-line. Still, despite this, it is not too bad as a film. As for reality? Ha!

Alien Intruder (1993)
Directed by Ricardo Jacques Gale

What was it about 1993/4 and looking forward to the year 2022? Anyway, this film stars Billy Dee Williams (another Star Wars alumnus?) and in this version of the future, some dangerous criminals are sent to investigate a lost space ship as part of their sentence, but they are allowed access to a virtual reality world to keep them sane. However, aliens come and intrude into the VR world to turn them against one another. I saw this film on TV a few years back for the first time in a decade or more, and it is still a fun film. Just don't think too hard about the science-y stuff. As for the reality? Well, no, prisoners would not be sent, but being lost in VR and that being open to external corruption… I think that might be here.

Soylent Green (1973)
Directed by Richard Fleischer

This is the film that started this list. The idea of a catastrophic climate change affecting the world, of the gap between rich and poor being so wide, of increased homelessness, of police focusing on helping the rich… it is all there around us now. Essentially, this movie is a police procedural which leads to some factories, with a twist in the titular substance (which most know about now) taking it into the realms of science fiction and creepiness… and makes people who know the film (but, interestingly, not the book it was based on, Make Room! Make Room! (1966) by Harry Harrison) shudder a little. This is one of the best and more intelligent scifi films made, and I still enjoy watching it. And its precognition was off the charts.

And there we are, 5 films set in 2022 that didn't quite get the future right. It is strange that we are now in the future that was put forward years ago… and yet, we are in a future that no-one really saw coming. Sometimes truth is more boring than fiction, and sometimes truth is stranger than fiction could ever come up with.


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Why? Looking at what we thought 2022 was going to be like is weird
Where: Everywhere
Your Comment
Interesting, thanks for compiling this
by Mindo Koerber (score: 2|646) 68 days ago
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