Minority Report
Starring:
Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow
Directed By:
Steven Spielberg
Grade
A-

There's a certain level of expected quality that comes from a movie directed by Steven Spielberg. It's basically understood. Starring Tom Cruise, Spielberg's Minority Report is a healthy entry in the sci-fi genre that offers a great story, finely crafted vision of the future and a strong underlying theme to support the storyline.

The main theme behind Minority Report is whether our lives are predetermined along one set path or whether we have multiple paths and can choose our own fate. Pre-crime is a program in which a triumvirate of precognitives predict murders that are to happen in the future. With their visions of the future, the Pre-crime officers discover the names of the murder victims and perpetrators and then find clues as to where the crime occurs so they can stop it before it happens. With the success of this process, murder has become nonexistent in Washington D.C. and is about to go national. But, once the State Department starts looking into the project, things begin to crop up.

When John Anderton (Cruise) finds himself a potential murderer, he goes on the run, only to discover that the supposedly perfect system itself has flaws in that there are times when not all three of the precogs have the save vision of the future, leading him to believe that not every event is predestined and that alternate solutions can be possible.

Tom Cruise manages to play a largely flawed character. After losing his son before the startup of the program, Cruise is a staunch, unquestioning supporter who so throws himself into it, he manages to lose his marriage as well. A user of recreational drugs, he manages to use less than conventional means once he goes on the run. While you might think that this is to be expected, these means seem to come exceptionally easy to him.

Minority Report feels like a modern version of Blade Runner, not so much in the story aspect, but in the clear vision of how they see the future. This is not too unexpected as both are taken from stories by Philip K. Dick. The world that the story is presented in is a plausible future where the technology is reasonably integrated and possible. Special effects used so effectively that they become a seamless part of the world and only in rare instances do they actually stand out as special effects.

The movie is shot with a strong clarity and even in the most hectic action sequences, everything is laid out to avoid confusion. While certain sequences are shot in duotone for emphasis, others, like John's flashback to the loss of his son, are shot in startlingly vibrant color. The future visions of murders are done in a disjointed manner that proves to be shocking and intense (even though the manner of shock-filming has been seen before).

The acting is pretty dead on. Even though you have your usual cast of supporting characters played by familiar faces (mostly perennial supporting cast in action movies), the main characters are done well as to help drive the story. Cruise and Farrell have a finely played conflict between each other, while Max Von Sydow once again plays an aged gentleman as the head of Pre-crime. Probably the most interesting character is Samantha Morton's precog, who is sufficiently traumatic and quite interesting in her mysterious nature and ultimately important part in the story.

There's enough action and suspense to balance out the slower, story-building aspects and though the heart of the story doesn't get rolling until well into the first hour, the pacing never makes it feel tedious. Sci-fi fans will enjoy this movie as it finds a place in the upper ranks of the genre. Outside of some convenience in the story that nit-pickers may object to, Minority Report is an enjoyable experience.

- - Kinderfeld

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