This is a little known fact about me, but I am a huge sci-fi fan. Where Godard once said, “All you need to make a move is a girl and a gun,” my personal creed has been all you need is a thin premise, a helmet and a spaceship hallway shot from 37 different directions.
Maybe it’s because I was 7 when Star Wars came out. Maybe it’s because I saw Tron at an impressionable age. But I have always yearned for a life lived amongst the stars and all the scientific technology and inventions that go with it.
All that future tech! I ached for it. I’d look down on my three speed chopper bike and wonder why it couldn’t have been a land speeder. Or why Mum had to cook stuff instead of it just materializing at the push of a button. Life would be perfect when all that technology was just as common as oxygen from my jet pack space suit.
Colin Farrell was just in a redux of Total Recall. I’m a big fan of the original. It really pushed what a mainstream sci-fi movie could be. And who could forget Arnie’s immortal line, “I got a tooo-mah!”?
And to be fair the new Colin one wasn’t as bad as Rotten Tomatoes would have you believe. It actually looked really good. And the so-so script was fine enough. Let’s face it, no one’s going for the story. They want to see some great futuristic, dystopian hovercar chases, shit blowing up and Colin’s hair. All done with CGI. Especially the hair. It’s just too good.
I was watching the movie on my iPad in a hotel room when the story reached a really interesting part. Colin puts his hand up on a glass surface and turns the whole thing into a screen. He flips information around with the tips of his fingers. He’s just about to find a clue, when someone calls me a Skype.
I pause the film, pinch the screen, flip it way, push open Skype and talk to a friend on the same screen that I’d had Colin on moments before.
After I hung up, I reversed the swiping, pinching and operating motions one-handed, and dropped back into the film just as a phone call came through for Colin on that glass surface…
Didn’t I just do that?
I rewound and watched the scene again. There wasn’t a single thing he did in it that I couldn’t do on my iPad. I’m not a spy, I write ads. I’m not an intergalactic explorer, I commute to Nashville.
All I did was buy something that a million other people already owned too. OK, yes, the tech worked faster in Total recall, so his character obviously wasn’t on AT&T. And yes, his hair was better, but we’ve covered that.
Yet there it was, the technology of 2075 in my hand. We had finally caught up.
But what a strange feeling. The tech I had yearned for all my life was a Xmas present.
It made me think back the first time I saw Colin Farrell in a film, Minority Report, probably 10 years ago. Those gloves of Tom Cruise and that screen were all anyone talked about. Not because no one can work out the triple twist, double back stab story ending to this day, but because that technology was so unimaginable, so far away from our cell phones that just made phone calls, it seemed like something our grandchildren might invent.
So now that we’re all caught up, I guess that means the future has already arrived. So prepare for the arrival next week of hyperspace, robotic implants, Soylent Green snack crisps, cylons that look just like us, beaming up to the Enterprise and 742 different types of invading aliens and a big hello to anyone reading this from your home on Mars.
And if any of your extra terrestrial neighbors need one, iPads are $369 at Best Buy, Fedexed to your spaceship door.