Tom Cruise, Colin Farrel, Max von Sydow
Director: Steven Spielberg
20th Century Fox
Craig Younkin. | Read
"Minority Report" brings the exciting teaming of Tom Cruise and
Steven Spielberg to the big screen for the very first time, only
what they give us is something altogether depressing and bland.
The film exists in the future, 2054 to be exact, where a
department known as Pre-Crime is run, using pre-cogs (beings who
can see the future) to forsee a crime before it happens.
Detectives, led by John Anderton (Cruise), scout for the crime's
location and just like that they have managed to prevent a
Technically it's all ingenious, but where "Minority Report"
fails is in the details. The subject of pre-crime is godly in
scope, but the film only shrugs off the negative implications of
playing God instead of using it to tell its story. All it does
is unravel into a conventional, and overly talky mystery, where
Cruise is framed for pre-murder and he must go on the run to
figure out who exactly is setting him up.
The subject of "Minority Report" is a fascinating one, too. The
minority report is something that is stored in the head of the
pre-cog, and sometimes it shows that the prediction a pre-cog
makes is not always accurate. Sometimes a perpetrator will
change his mind at the last second, but will still be taken to
jail for pre-murder. The subject of whether or not a person will
change his mind seems to be a serious issue, possibly brought up
before the pre-crime department, yet it is instated into
practicing law enforcement. Only later in the film is it brought
up as a plot twist.
Also, in the film's most preposterous explanation, we hear that
the pre-cogs can only predict murder, and that rape, drug use,
and child molestation are non-predictory. Only in a pre-crime
commercial, we hear that pre-crime offers security against all
kinds of crimes, including rape. Another flaw appears later in
the film when a pre-cog is able to tell Anderton exactly which
way to go in order to escape incoming pre-crime cops.
The message that "Minority Report" lays on us is that each
perpetrator has a choice, but this message is both muddled and
unsatisfying. What about those murderers who have some kind of
mental illness, or much like the opening sequence of the film
indicates, a person operating out of rage and emotional strain?
How can a person be expected to see that choice when he or she
is not working under the right frame of mind? As we saw from the
Colorado fire, a disaster can happen when someone's emotions
take the better of them.
"Minority Report" is sadly just a popcorn flick, and a rather
unexciting one at that. Spielberg again comes up with astounding
looking visuals, showing us Tom Cruise jumping from car to car
as they travel upwards, a car actually being built around Tom
Cruise, a jet pack chase, and some very cool-looking mechanical
spiders scanning the eyes of the people in a hotel in trying to
find Anderton. These scenes look incredibly cool, but they are
all lacking in real suspense.
Tom Cruise is also starting to wear patience as a lead hero.
Here he is given a man with a very emotional past, first losing
his son to a kidnapping and then his wife to a divorce. The
flashbacks between him and his son barely seem the least bit
touching, although the generic way the script adds them in don't
help much, and actually caring whether or not Anderton manages
to figure out the mystery becomes sort of a non-issue. This was
done so much better by Matt Damon last week in
"Bourne Identity" that seeing
it again just seems redundant. Plus this film is so long,
boring, and mostly talky, that the thrill is non-existent.
Colin Farrell does a much better job with the role of an
assistant with the attorney general, named Witwer. He is the
only character in the film who seems to have a thinking head on
his shoulders, and he is charismatic enough to make you wish he
was the hero here. Samantha Morton also does an eerily creepy
job here as one of the pre-cogs.
Only "Minority Report" is still a flop. It refuses to dig deep
and it refuses to stop and think a minute about the details it
is portraying on screen. Some people may enjoy it for it's
special effects and popcorn feel but basically I was hoping for
an Oliver Stone feel in what appears to be a Michael Bay movie.
This is a depressing disappointment from Spielberg and Cruise.