Minority Report (2002) / Sci Fi-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence, brief language, some sexuality and drug content
Running Time: 145 min.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Max von Sydow, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Kathryn Morris
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Scott Frank, Jon Cohen (based on a short story by Philip K. Dick)
Review published June 18, 2002
More gold mined from the stories of Philip K. Dick, whose other works include the basis of Blade Runner and Total Recall, two classics in the science fiction film genre. Minority Report may not be as good as those films, but that's not to say it is any less entertaining. Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, The Lost World), coming off of the darker but underrated A.I., is back at it with more dark entertainment, but with quite a bit more action to elevate many scenes to thrill-ride status.
Tom Cruise (M:I 2, Magnolia) having just come off his last head-trip sci-fi flick with Vanilla Sky enters into this provocative thriller with the right frame of mind. He stars as John Anderton (Cruise), a policeman in the future who works for the Precrime unit, whose job is to arrest would-be murderers before they have the chance to actually commit the crime. Things are going pretty well for Washington D.C. since the inception of the unit, and not one murder has been committed in that time. Anderton believes it is a system without flaws, until he is tagged to commit the next murder, causing him to become a fugitive out to find out how and why before he is put away for good.
Minority Report does so many things so well from the terrific concepts of Dick, the superb screenplay by Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Out of Sight), the always impressive directing of Spielberg, the convincing acting of Cruise, and outstanding special effects, that it comes as a bit of a surprise that a home run isn't hit here. There are definitely moments of greatness, enough to give Minority Report a very solid recommendation, yet it's the kind of movie that you must suspend so much disbelief at the leaps in logic that it might leave you with a hangover trying to resolve all of the gaps in the explanation. Luckily, Spielberg keeps the action moving fast enough that you won't spend too much time thinking about the murky points before another great scene or concept appears to take your mind back in the plot.
Minority Report gets a very solid recommendation for sci-fi fanatics, action fans, and lovers of good old-fashioned whodunits. It's clever, interesting, and often mesmerizing. A definite thrill-ride well worth your time and money. The implausibility pill may choke the most cynical of viewers, but most of the rest of us will be too enrapt to care. While Spielberg may not quite have hit a home run, it was close -- more like a double that bounced off of the top of the centerfield wall..
©2002 Vince Leo