I went to see Minority Report at our new local citiplex last night. And what a good film it is. Indeed if Harrision Ford rather than Tom Cruise had played the lead it would have been Blade Runner 2 in all but name.
This comparison shouldn't be too surprising as the original story of Minority Report was written by Phillip K Dick who wrote Do Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep? which was turned into Blade Runner by Ridley Scott. Steven Spielberg directs this time and despite faint echoes of A.I (don't let that put you off though) he brings a skill and craftsmanship to the project that helps raise it above being a mere The Matrix clone to being an outstanding piece of science fiction film making in it's own right.
Spielberg and Cruise are perhaps the two most powerful and influential people in filmmaking today and they have created something to behold. Sci-fi, action, whodunit, this film is rich and layered. Cruise puts in a convincing performance as John Anderton, a detective at the department of precrime in Washington D.C. Colin Farrel (cute as a button) and Max Von Sydow also deliver strong supporting performances.
The basic plot is this: There hasn't been a murder in six years. The system seems flawless and is about to go national. Unfortunately there are a few glitches that could prevent this from happening. When it is preordained that Anderton himself will murder someone in less than two days, he leads his former colleagues on a wild goose chase that contains some classic chase sequences. In one scene the police track him to an apartment building and deploy small mechanical spiders that perform retinal scans on all of the warm bodies in the building. This is just one example of the many brilliant ideas Spielberg created while in his "think tank", to which he invited many prominent scientists and futurists. The special effects in this movie put those of Spider-Man and Attack Of The Clones to shame, not because of how much CGI there is, but how it is used. Spielberg is a technical wizard but knows that special effects are just a way to enhance his vision, and that the real meat of a film is characters and plot. Minority Report is a masterful work which is deserving of the millions it is sure to make at the box office.
Some memorable lines:
Officer Fletcher: Don't run, John.
John Anderton: You don't have to chase me.
Officer Fletcher: You don't have to run!
John Anderton: Everybody runs, Fletch.
Gideon: Careful, Chief. You dig up the past, all you get is dirty.
OK, so it has a couple of those annoying Spielberg comedy moments but apart from those this is a dark piece of cinema with death, disease, drugs and back-street surgery. Earlier I said that the film is good rather than great because despite having the Holy Trinity of Spielberg, Cruise and Dick all on board there are two gaping cinemagraphic plot holes along the way (like 'how exactly did they get out of there' and 'how come he didn't get squashed by that'). But even these don't really detract from the narrative too much - and boy does the pace keep you on the edge of your seat at times.
Review in one sentence: Dream team make dream sci-fi flick.
There are three trailers to the film which you can watch here, here and here.