Flying cars crisscrossing through a clear blue sky and transporting drivers to their destinations, flashing neon lights illuminating the whole city, bold and futuristic buildings lining up the streets. No matter how a writer or director depicts a city in science fiction, it always plays a supporting role in a movie. Indeed, a sci-fi city sustains atmosphere, provides spectacle, and contains narrative.
For years now, science fiction movies have given us a glimpse into our future cities. Some of them have been bright and positive, while others have been dark and rough. Viewers around the world love seeing what the setting might be hundreds of years from now, no matter how bleak it may look. And if you add advanced technology to the mix, they will be glued to their screens.
What’s more, few film genres feel far away from our reality as much as science fiction does. However, the best sci-fi movies are those that try to remain connected with the real world in some way. This reminds us that some fictional stories could become a tangible reality. Fans around the world want to walk through the locations of their favorite sci-fi films because of this.
In this article, we’ll take a look at four cities in sci-fi movies we’d like to visit.
Blade Runner (1982)
Ridley Scott has proven over and over again that he is one of the best science fiction directors. He especially outdid himself with Blade Runner, a movie loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The film takes us to a dystopian future Los Angeles of 2019, making a prediction of what the city might look like in a sci-fi setting. Scott’s Los Angeles is a daunting megalopolis where replicants, i.e. bioengineered humanoids, may be hiding. They shouldn’t be in LA in the first place, and Rick Deckard needs to take care of this! Why is futuristic Los Angeles one of the best cities in sci-fi movies?
Well, the reason for this is that Blade Runner depicts the future as a technology-controlled metropolis. This is a world where robots hide among humans, flying cars move above the overcrowded streets, and interstellar travel is possible. Additionally, the city is colossal, coming across as a virtual planet.
Will this future ever become our reality? It remains to be seen! For now, let’s explore other cities in sci-fi movies!
Many critics and fans of science fiction often say that Akira has had a similar, if not the same, influence on the genre as Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey have. In fact, Akira is considered a landmark movie in the cyberpunk genre, and it contains one of the best cities in sci-fi movies.
Just like Blade Runner, Akira is set in 2019, but in a different city — Tokyo. The film’s version of Tokyo differs a bit from what we’re used to. Namely, the story narrates that a singularity destroyed the city in 1988. By 2019, it is rebuilt and people now call it Neo-Tokyo. Although restored, the city is plagued by corruption, protests, and terrorism. It is literally on the verge of collapse. Nevertheless, you can find some beauty in this city.
Specifically, Neo-Tokyo is filled with skyscrapers which makes it more modern compared to old Tokyo. It is a prosperous and hi-tech place, but it is also the most densely-populated city in the whole world. See what happens when dissatisfied citizens meet in this popular anime movie that feels close to our reality.
But there are other cities in sci-fi movies you should check out!
The Fifth Element (1997)
We’re once again moving to the future, about 200 years from now, to see one of the best cities in sci-fi movies. The film we’re looking at is The Fifth Element, directed and co-written by Luc Besson, which explores a futuristic New York City that is filled with flying cars and technological systems.
The Fifth Element is set in the 23rd century when humans face a grave danger. Namely, the great evil has resurfaced and only one secret weapon can stop it. As Earth prepares to fight off an impending attack, we get to see what life is like in the 23rd century New York City. People have self-making beds, flying cars, improved coffee makers, and much more!
But what makes The Fifth Element stand out is the fact that it takes aspects of a city we know well and keeps that essence in a futuristic setting. For instance, the movie includes fire escapes located high up — on skyscrapers!
We’re now at the end of our list of cities in sci-fi movies. Let’s see the last one!
Minority Report (2002)
Minority Report is the second movie on our list that is based on a Philip K. Dick short story. Steven Spielberg did a great job of bringing Dick’s work to life. In fact, Minority Report was one of the best-reviewed films of 2002. It certainly showcases one of the top cities in sci-fi movies.
Minority Report takes place in Washington D.C. in 2054 — our near future! The city has a low murder rate thanks to a program known as “PreCrime” that prevents all fatal deeds, helping the police arrest criminals prior to the crimes. This sounds like the perfect solution, right? But, what is the futuristic Washington D.C. like?
The movie depicts a city dominated by a system that enables private cabins to transport citizens from place to place. Then, moving posters are the norm in Washington D.C, which has spread throughout other cities as well. People can manipulate images, text, and data on screens with extraordinary ease.
What’s more, one of the main ideas shown in the movie is the vision of a future where every citizen is monitored throughout the day. This is done with a consumer-friendly surveillance system, designed to cater to people’s needs. Does it sound familiar?
And that’s our list of the best cities in sci-fi movies! Which one would you visit first?