VIDEO: Minority Report (2002)

Suzie finds herself in the pink for her review of Minority Report, Steven Spielberg’s overlong, needlessly complicated adaption of a Philip K. Dick short story, starring the Couch Jumper (AKA Tom Cruise) as a “precrime” detective who stops murders before they happen with the help of blind, androgynous “precogs” who can see the future. 

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  • Monty39

    My favorite film of 2002. A masterpiece.

    • Si80

      ‘Twas mine too, Monty, but it really doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. And when Spielberg is out to make a “think piece”, as he clearly is here, that’s fatal.

  • Tailkinker

    You know?  I liked this flick.  Mostly for the special effects, as TBC mentioned.  But the short story on which this flick was based had an important message, which managed to make it into this flick:  that free will matters.

    But yes, I agree on the whole “he didn’t kill anyone” thing.

  • Si80

    Hello Suzie!

    Interesting recap. Watching the Katie Holmes clip again gave me a laugh. But the truth is, I loved this film a decade ago. And I still like it today. Along with “Munich” and “Catch Me If You Can”, it’s one of the few decent films the ‘Berg has made since “Schindler’s List”.

    I think the fact that Pre-Crime was fundamentally flawed was the whole point of the movie – that it was set up under the guise of being for the greater good when, in reality, it was all about Burgess and how much he, and his friends, would stand to benefit personally from its success. I’m sure Burgess would have been quite happy to share the wealth with Anderton, too, had Pre-Crime really gone national – it’s just, to paraphrase an old cliche, once Anderton “knew too much”, he had to be taken care of, so to speak.

    Admittedly, you’re not the only one to complain about Anderton not considering the system’s fallibility. Lest we forget, though, that had any of the Pre-Cops known the truth about Pre-Crime, they’d surely never have considered being part of it. Anderton was just one of a series of pawns in Burgess’ long-term scheme. His vulnerability – the loss of a son, his addiction to drugs – made him perfect for Burgess to work with.

    What irritates me about the film today is everything from the vomitous “so much love in this house” scene (which you’ve omitted here) onwards. Watching it only reminds me how too much sentiment and a poorly thought out conclusion (let’s not even go into the plot holes) prevented this film from reaching its full potential.

    Tell you what, if you’re looking for a great alternative, try “Hot Fuzz”. It’s snappier and doesn’t take itself seriously.

    • The Blockbuster Chick

      Thank you, I really appreciate your comment and funnily enough, Hot Fuzz is one of my all time favourite movies 🙂  Thanks again 🙂

      • Sofie Liv

         I knew there was a reason I liked you.

        Yay for team Simon Pegg and Nick frost!

        Any-how, you all ready know what I think of this video, wrote it on the TGWTG forum ages ago. But hell lets repeat, it was a lot of fun, you are so snappy with your jokes and it works.
        Plus, I so agree this is just one heck of a confusing movie that should have gotten its story straight and been way more focused on what exactly it wanted to do or say.

  • Kev

    I’m not kidding when I say this could have been Spielberg’s Blade Runner. Had this been made between Jaws and Temple of Doom it would have been. There are two Steven Spielbergs. Good Steven, who makes awesome sauce such as Jaws, Raiders and Schindler’s List and Bad Steven who makes, well….lowest common denominator mass-marketed craporama like Jurassic Park: The Lost World and “That Indiana Jones Movie What Shall Not Be Named”.

    Minority Report had Bad Steven’s fingerprints all over it, which is a shame because Good Steven could have made this a pretty cool little sci fi crime thriller if nothing else. You can see in War of the Worlds a tug of war match between Good Steven and Bad Steven, because there are a lot of moments where WOTW REALLY tries to be a great movie, and to its credit has moments where it is (such as the flaming train and the Tripods) but it can’t keep the momentum going, but ultimately Bad Steven wins with that shitty ending AND HIS FUCKING SON, HOLY CRAP I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY HAD THAT WHINY LITTLE BASTARD SURVIVE!!! ARRRRRRGH!

    Anyway, Minority Report: Sucked. Which in itself sucks because MR could have been good. It definitely had the effects and the cast, it just needed the script. Even Tom Cruise, who may be batshit crazy but he can still bring it on screen.

  • MephLord

    This movie had two cool moments: The Precog helping Mr Crazy escape and the creepy eye exchange.  Other than that, I restlessly waiting for something to happen.  I had the exact same experience in the Will Smith “I,Robot” movie where there was so much build up, and so much let down as well.

  • I am glad that as time as passed this movie has received a re-evaluation as a piece of garbage. When I first saw it I thought it was a boring, pseudo-techno-thriller with no regard for the reality of ethics or law. I hated it in 2002 when I first saw it, and I hate it just as much if not more now. Really, the characters are just lame as shit, the story is so unnecessarily complicated and drawn out that many sequences will cause you to experience emesis. It’s a very unpleasant, nauseating and painful experience. There’s basically nothing the least bit entertaining or insightful about it!! Oh the irony!

    Contrast this “film” with Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third kind: a very beautiful, engrossing and thrilling experience that captures our humanity and the deeply overwhelming desire to come into contact with the unknown by overcoming your fears. 

    • Si80

      It’s funny, Russell. This may contradict what I said earlier, but for all MR’s flaws – it *is* about coming into contact with the unknown by overcoming your fears. Like CE3K.

      Anderton has been using Pre-Crime to run away from truly facing the tragedy of his son. The point that MR is trying to get across, in its own muddled and/or dubious manner, is that people will believe in anything so long as they can be convinced it works. It’s that age old adage of the power of the system vs the power of individual thought – the drone like thinking of the pre-cops is rather terrifying, which may well be exactly what the film intended.

      But why do they think that way? Because the system has been good for them. They have jobs. They feel comfortable. Anderton is in a place where he feels in control, respected and looked up to by the staff. It is no surprise he sees Danny Witwer as an antagonist. Even if Witwer is right, his very presence and arguments are a threat to the control and command Anderton holds.

      Because of the death of his son, Anderton is nothing without command and routine – the command and routine that Pre-Crime provides. As with Roy Neary, Anderton is forced to face the unknown by something he could never have predicted – in this case, a system turning on him. Like Jurassic Park turned on its creators.

      And in the course of the film, in which he becomes the hunted, rather than the hunter (see also: Munich), Anderton becomes the very leader that he wasn’t at the start – the kind who faced and dealt with his problems, rather than ran away from them.

      With that in mind, the film is similarly critical of Lamar Burgess, and, indeed, any manager who believes in a system. If you try and cover up your problems rather than facing them and dealing with them, they will come back and bite you in the proverbial. (Didn’t Jaws suggest this too?)

  • Oh and by the way, many of the thoughts you had on this film were also echoed by Confused Matthew. 

  • Si80

    Returning to the film years later, its failings become more prominent.

    The problem with the film is quite simple; Spielberg wants a compelling, traditional noir thriller and police drama *along* with the prestige that comes with telling us “how it’s really going to be”. He doesn’t manage it. Too much time is spent on the wrong things (as you point out, it doesn’t matter how much pseudo-intellectual jargon or statistics the pre-cops use to justify the film’s implementation of Pre-Crime; the bottom line is, the murders didn’t take place) and not enough time on the stickier moral questions surrounding such a system. Essentially, the whole film exists so that Anderton can learn how to be a more responsible father figure – a fine message in its own right, but the issues that lead him there don’t deserve to be shoved in the background for the sake of the protagonist’s life lessons.