We're catching up with older visions of the future all the time. Judgment Day, the moment in the Terminator franchise when the computer system Skynet gains consciousness and revolts against humanity, came and went without much fuss—four times. Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's idea of 2001 looks nothing like our world from a decade ago (we don't even maintain the same fascination with space travel).
And now, we're in 2013, the year in which John Carpenter set his 1996 sci-fi thriller Escape From L.A. Though a box-office dud of mixed critical reputation, Escape From New York's pulpy sequel offers a fun viewing experience today—in part, unsurprisingly, because our world little resembles the one the film imagined.
Of course, it's a very good thing it doesn't. In the film's prologue, a stern, robotic-sounding female narrator offers a disturbing vision of America gone wrong. After a deadly earthquake in the year 2000, Los Angeles separates from mainland North America, so our government uses the newly formed island for prisoners, atheists, and other undesirables. Present-day California's quite-terrible prison problems pale in comparison.
By way of a mini-submarine, protagonist Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) must enter Los Angeles, where the president's daughter Utopia (A.J. Langer) possesses a doomsday device. It's a little black box that, when turned on, shuts off the entire planet's electricity. The president (Cliff Robertson) explains the mission is the box, not his daughter, and he wants Snake to kill her. But Plissken's sole incentive for this quest is to save his own life: He's been poisoned, and only the president has the antidote. A Tea Partier likely could draw some sort of analogy here with Obama, but let's chalk this aspect of the film up as "not prophetic."