Minority Report

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MinorityReport.jpg

What would you do if you were accused of a murder you had not committed... yet?

2002

Starring:
Tom Cruise, Max von Sydow, Colin Farrell, Neil McDonough, Samantha Morton

Genres:
Sci-Fi, Action, Mystery

Summary:
The year is 2054 and a new form of crime prevention is being tested in Washington, D.C. Officer John Anderton (Cruise) heads a unit of cops who are able to prevent murders before they happen. This is due solely to the ability of three mysterious beings called the "precogs". The precogs visualize murders before they happen, and the cops arrest the perpetrator before the crime is committed. The precogs are known to be completely infallible, and actual murder has not been committed in the area since the advent of the precrime program.

Everything falls apart, however, when the murder of a mysterious man is predicted. The murderer is Anderton himself. On the run from his former colleagues (McDonough & von Sydow) and an external investigator (Farrell), Anderton must solve an intricate mystery in order to prove his innocence. In the centre of this mystery is Agatha (Morton), the key precog whose mind contains the vital minority reports that might bring precrime to an abrupt standstill.

Response:
This movie just clinches my opinion that Steven Speilberg should keep his hands off science fiction (see A.I.). I don't know know how the man could develop the grisly realism of Saving Private Ryan, and yet still have the need to sugarcoat his sci-fi movies. There are just a few too many scenes in Minority Report that are just a tad too sweet. For example, at the end Tom and his ex-wife stand at their window looking out into the rain with their hands clasped over her now pregnant belly, and it's all just a bit much.

Having said that, Minority Report was still a wonderful movie. The suspense was built masterfully with the help of several impressive action chase scenes coupled with nail-biting bare escapes. The scene in the bathtub with the robotic spiders expecially sticks in my mind in regards to the suspense, but maybe that's just because I hate eye things.

The sci-fi aspects were quite stunning and fairly original, although I am very doubtful our road system will look like that in 50 years. But unlike many other modern sci-fi movies, the science fiction aspect of Minority Report is crucial to the plot. The whole concept of precrime opens an ethical can of legal and humanitarian worms, and these issues are presented in an understated but powerful manner.

Tom Cruise is in his standard effective action hero mode while Samantha Morton delivers an eerie performance as the frail precog Agatha. One of the creepiest scenes in the movie occurs after her slightly deadpan explanation of Anderton's dead sons potential life. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've watched this movie in the theatre or with the volume turned up.

Minority Report is a great movie, and I have yet to find someone that didn't find it entertaining. It's definitely been polished for the big screen- in the original story by Philip K Dick on which the movie was based, Anderson is an overweight, balding older man- not quite Tom Cruise. Nonetheless, this movie was intricate and wonderfully developed with great special effects, but I do think it was slightly hampered by Speilberg's need for sweetness, happy endings, and excessive closure.

Point Blank:
A great scifi/action/mystery movie that had the potential to be even greater if it were allowed to be darker at the end.