Sometimes I feel like writing for this blog is a bit of a constant battle between reviewing films I love and using it as an excuse to see films I’ve missed, such as this one. Steven Spielberg is a director that I would list in my top 5, but a director for whom I have missed a large body of his work. So, with Bridge of Spies winding down its theatrical run, and the Minority Report TV show (which I will not watch) having kicked off, I thought I’d check out this gem. And boy, was it worth it.
Minority Report is a 2002 sci-fi/action film starring Tom Cruise, Samantha Morton, and Colin Farrell, directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen, and based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, the science fiction writer from whom some of the greatest science fiction movies of the past 30 years have originated.
The film takes place in the year 2054, in which the PreCrime division has been tested for 6 years in Washington D.C. You see, the way this works is that there are 3 PreCogs, people who can see the future, for an eventually revealed reason. They see visions of crimes before they happen, and the division uses clues in the vision to learn the location of the crime, and stop it before it happens. Dilemma-the crime hasn’t occurred, but it was going to—or was it? The morals and philosophy are best expressed in this scene:
And that’s why I love Philip K. Dick movies.
Tom Cruise plays John Anderton, an officer in the PreCrime division who is predicted to murder a man who he’s never met, and is forced to go on the run and prove his innocence, Mission: Impossible style. Although, since he never committed the crime, it’s less about his innocence, and more about proving the inherent flaws of the system that he is a part of, and believes so firmly in. Chaos ensues, and so do some pretty sweet action scenes.
The action is seriously incredible, and the CG is fantastic, with almost everything holding up remarkably well, with almost nothing looking its age, barring some iffy green-screening. Seriously, everyone, this effect is from 2002.
You know what other effect is from 2002? This one:
Yeah. Just goes to show you what putting your budget in the right place can do for you. Also shows perfectly the career trajectory of Steven Spielberg versus that of George Lucas. But, we’re not talking about the Star Wars prequels right now, and nor do I want to. At least, not yet.
Back to Minority Report. The cast are all fantastic, with Cruise putting in a great performance, as always. And John Anderton is not a typical Tom Cruise action hero, he’s not a cool guy Jack Reacher or an I’m-awesome-at-this-so-don’t-even-question-me Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible 2. He’s a flawed and broken man, and his backstory is absolutely heartbreaking.
The film flows nicely, and is paced well, with clear Act 1, 2, and 3 divisions. The story is full of deceit and intrigue, and the dialogue is pretty good. Colin Farrell is even great, and his track record in other Philip K. Dick adaptations is not great. *cough* Total Recall remake *cough*
While the ending is bizarre tonally, and doesn’t quite jive with the rest of the film, it’s not quite so jarring as others would have you believe. It works well enough for what it is, and there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, per se. Just realize that there’s not an explanation for the ending, so don’t give me the “It’s all in his halo vision” thing. I hate that.
Minority Report is an intriguing sci-fi crime drama that is definitely worth a watch. Highly recommended. I’m going to give Minority Report an A.
I really, really want that sonic shotgun. Screw hoverboards, I want one of these:
Well, there you have it. I believe this is my first straight-up, non-themed film review since the end of September, and the first to be up on time in quite a while. Congratulations to me. So, what do you think? Do you like Minority Report? Is the TV show any good? What’s your personal favorite Steven Spielberg movie? Whatever you thought, leave a comment down below, and I’ll catch you on the down low. Laters!