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The System is Never Wrong; Until It Is After You. MINORITY REPORT
Dec 8, 2009
Review by Mark Vaughan
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Sci fi classic, great story, great actors, great director, what's not to love?
Cons:None. It grows with time.
The Bottom Line: Clever, cerebral and complex, this sci fi classic from Phillip K. Dick is brought to vibrant life on the screen.
Minority Report (2002) Directed by Steven Spielberg from the short story by Phillip K. Dick.
Recommend this product?
John Anderton: That's all, huh? Just walk right into Precrime, go in the Temple, somehow tap into these Precogs, and then download this Minority Report.
Dr. Iris Hinemen: If you have one.
John Anderton: And then walk out.
Dr. Iris Hinemen: Actually, I think you'll have to run out, but yes, that is what you have to do.
For six years, there has not been a single murder in Washington D.C. The reason is the Precrime Experiment. A team of three precognatively cursed individuals foresee murder before it happens. And using their hive mind vision, they Precrime Unit can respond before the actual murder takes place.
The system is flawless. The system is full proof. John Anderton knows. He is the best precrime officer on the force. And now, it says that in thirty-six hours, John Anderton (Tom Cruise) will kill a man. So he has thirty six hours to find out what has gone wrong.
He chases down one of the creators of the Precrime; Dr Iris Hineman (Lois Smith). A brand new take on the mad scientist. And she gives him a glimmer of hope; the precogs are always right. However, they do not always agree. Agatha, the most gifted of the trio, sometimes issues a minority report, a variation on the future that the twins do not see. Anderton sees this as the only hope; he must get this Minority report, and see if there is information that will exonerate him.
Yet in a world where retinal scans are ubiquitous, and used to spam you from every passing bill board, how can he elude the men he helped train to capture people like him? And how does he prove that the infallible precogs have got it wrong?
Set in a dystopic future of perfect safety at the price of all privacy the story is not only about the gifts of precognition, but about the exercise of free will. Where does man's ability to choose fall before predestination. And can there be such a thing as a perfect system. Well, yes, as long as humans are not involved.
Tom Cruise has to carry most of the movie as John Anderton. A man obsessed with stopping crime, he is forever trying to save the one person he can't; his dead son. This obsessive drive and core of grief give Cruise something to chew on. Say what you want about his whacked up personal life; the man is an actor. This role is a walk in the park for him.
More demanding is the role of Director Lamar Burgess. Max Von Sydow must act with precognition, bringing one message across for the camera now, and yet delivering a separate message to the future, foreshadowing our hindsight, as it were. Once again, not too big a task for this titan of the screen. I loved Colin Farrell as the obnoxious Danny Witwer, fellow Precrime specialist charged without thinking John Anderton. Colin plays jerks well, giving them just enough charm that you don't want them to die. And Lois Smith as the demented gardener Dr. Iris Hineman; this is one of the funniest roles I have seen her in in a long time, and a refreshing change of pace for the cliché of the mad scientist.
The story is a definite action thriller, trip hammering away at a frenetic pace. Built upon the work of Sci Fi genius, Phillip K. Dick, all they had to do was not screw it up. I know that is hard work for Hollywood, but Spielberg is a master of his own craft as well, and he did the SciFi Gawd proud. It all depends on what you are working with, and start to finish, they were working with the best. I suppose that is why this is becoming an enduring Sci Fi Classic, out stretching some puzzling negative press at air time, and growing legs on DVD.
This review, like Danny Witwer, is Lean-N-Mean. It predictably is 666 words.
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