Archive for April 19th, 2008


The Future

April 19, 2008

So I was watching The Fifth Element the other night and recalled something that has bugged me ever since the movie came out.  Yes, the movie is set in the future, that’s fine, but why does Hollywood feel the need to make the future so F’d up looking?

Perfect example is the police uniform from The Fifth Element (Shown above.)  First glance you look at this and say, “Wow!  This must be a cop from the future!”  Yes, you would be correct, now let’s take a look at the functionality of this outfit.

First off, it’s bulky and cumbersome.  How in the hell is a cop supposed to move swiftly while wearing this?  If a cop would need to squeeze through a door or into a small place, you’re pretty much screwed.

Next, the helmet.  That thing has got to cause visual impairments.  No way around it.  Sure it may stop a bullet, but I guess if you are wearing that thing you really need that function since you won’t be able to see the guy shooting at you.

That big ass circle in the chest, that’s some sort of spot light.  I’m sure that will come in really effective since it can only be aimed by positioning your body properly.

Placement of the gun.  There’s a reason cops have worn their gun on their hips for centuries, because it’s really quick to get to.  You try to reach for that thing and you’ll be dead half way to it.

The gun itself, I’m sure like any tool of self defense, you learn to adapt really quick, but the though of picking that up and using it to shoot… I’d be shooting at the ground for awhile because of that angled handle.

Really guys, lets look at the progression of this kind of thing over the years.  Cops now a days don’t look far removed from cops of yesteryear.  If anything, their gear has gotten smaller while becoming more useful.  The billy club has been replace by the extend-o-baton.  Guns are becoming more compact while becoming more accurate and more powerful.  Body armor has constantly become thinner, lighter, and more flexible.  What purpose do all of those adornments on the cop uniform above serve?  If there is any one profession where no one cares what they look like but want to be as able as possible for the job… it’s a cop.

Another one of my favs but couldn’t find a picture of it, is the hand held communications device that the cop uses in Demolition Man.  If you will recall, it’s a about a 7″ screen with a handle coming down at a 45 degree angle from the bottom right corner and it’s held in an underhand motion.  This is just nuts.  If anything, the guy is going to have a PDA style device, or even better, just an ear piece that is going to give him advice.

The biggest issue I have are the computer screens of the so called future.  Rather than being a rectangle, they add these little off shoots that serve no purpose other than to make it look futuristic.  The thought of creating these is mind numbing.  The extra work that would go into creating the code to fill these little off shoots is pointless.  If they were to hold some specific data that would make sense but no, it’s just an extension of the video image or background.

So really, let’s use the KISS method here folks.  Sure things will look a little different in the future, but you don’t need Jean Paul Gaultier to try to get that point across.