Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Scott Frank
Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow. Steve Harris, Neal McDonough, Patrick Kilpatrick and Jessica Capshaw
Now Spielberg is one of the most renowned directors of all time, even if you are not a avid film fan, even if you rarely watch films the chances of you not knowing his name are slim. His massive film repertoire include Jaws, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s list, Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can (my favourite). Whilst I think Spielberg is a skilled director I do not believe he deserves the title “The Greatest Director of All Time”. In Minority Report Spielberg once again explores the world of science fiction and with success.
Set in Washington D.C the year is 2054 “PreCrime” is now a reality. There is now a department in the police force which possess the authority to arrest citizens before they commit a crime. PreCrime cops are able to do this using the information they receive from three “Precogs” (basically psychics). The Captain of the “PreCrime” John Anderton is a man with a troubled past (I know cliche) and is the public face of pre-crime and it’s most effective employee. However the events which transpire in the film put “PreCrime’s” existence in jeopardy.
Tom Cruise puts in a decent shift in Minority Report but it does feel like at times he slips back into his comfort zone, that being the the do-gooder action hero. However the scenes in which he conveys his heavy “emtional baggage” is entertaining. In fact the way in which he expresses his character’s vulnerability reminded me of Cruise’s character Frank T.J Mackey the sex guru in Magnolia (great film). Cruise’s commitment to this project is abundant as he (and Spielberg) waved their usual salaries in order to keep the budget below 100 million and instead took 15% of the film’s gross.
Supporting Cruise is Colin Farrell who plays Danny Witwer an agent from the Justice Department who is sent to review the “PreCrime” system and attempt to find any flaws, Witwer discovers just one flaw in the system and that is humanity. Colin Farrell is a very underrated actor, sure he’s done some terrible films, *cough* Total Recall the remake, *cough* Miami Vice, who hasn’t? Initially we believe that Danny is merely out to destroy “PreCrime” but as the film progresses we begin to realize his constant questions and challenges all stem from a strong set of morals and he actually becomes likable.
Minority Report is not without it’s faults one of which is it’s action sequences. I felt the acting sequences were flat and uninteresting. I was hoping for some creativity with the action scenes, which would have followed the rest of the film as it constantly conveys creativity. I would preferred more focus on the compelling concept of the film over the action sequences, as the concept is straight from the brilliant mind of the outstanding Philip K. Dick. Philip K. Dick also wrote “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which was used as inspiration for Blade Runner. How can a person be punished for something he/she has not done yet? How can we tell for absolutely certainty that he will murder at that specific time, aren’t events subject to change by circumstances? How could we not use something like “PreCrime”, as it would save countless lives? This concept is so interesting you can’t help but think about it.
It’s not just the concept in the film which is interesting but also the world constructed by Spielberg right down to the smallest detail. From animations on the front of cereal boxes, to adverts which talk to you and address you by name (that better not happen). Spielberg’s attention to detail is evident as three years before production he assembled a team of sixteen “future experts”to brainstorm out the year 2054. Those involved include professors at MIT and the director of biomedical research at DARPA. Spielberg even hired the top 12 contortionists from around the world to de a futuristic yoga class. I know how can yoga become “futuristic” I hear you ask, watch Minority Report and witness yoga in 2054.
Minority Report is a richly imagined world, with competent actors, a provocative concept and has a plot which can hold you attention for two and a half hours. I’m glad to report (sorry for the pun, I had to) that this trip to the future is worthwhile.