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MINORITY REPORT (2002)- R
The cast includes: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Steve Harris, Max Von Sydow, Samantha Morton, Kathryn Morris, Neal McDonough, Tim Blake Nelson, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare, Caroline Lagerfelt, Jason Antoon, Daniel London, and Jessica Harper.
Screenplay by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.
Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Tag line: "What would you do if you were accused of a murder you had not committed … yet?
It is 2054 and for six years Washington D.C. has been murder free thanks to the experimental branch of the police force known as the Department of Pre-Crime. Pre-Crime is an experiment in law enforcement in which perpetrator of a killing is identified, arrested, halo'd before the murder ever takes place. This all-possible due to the precognitives, who are three "people" that have the ability to see murders before they happen. Their visions are broadcasted for the investigators and two wooden balls are produced, one with the killers name, and the other with the victim's name. A brown ball means that it is a premeditated murder, a red ball for a crime of passion. The would be killers are kept comatose in glass tubes, stored in a room like papers in a filing cabinet. However there is a catch, in order for the system to work, the precognitives must be infallible. The political advertisements that flash across the screen , assure the voters that 'PreCrime Works!' and to vote 'Yes!' on a national Pre Crime initiative.
Detective John Anderton, who is still deeply disturbed and haunted by his young son's disappearance six years before, leads the department of PreCrime. With PreCrime about to go national, the pressure is on and a power struggle has begun between Director Lamar Burgess, the creator of PreCrime, and the Department of Justice over whom will control the national program. Detective Danny Witwer, who wants Anderton's job, is sent to investigate PreCrime and its personnel. He claims that no system is perfect that there is always a flaw, a flaw that he will uncover.
Anderton is the one who stumbles across this flaw when he becomes interested in an old case, involving the drowning of a woman named Anne Lively,after a strange incident with the female precognitive, Agatha. The case has three major glitches; Agatha's vision of the crime is missing, Anne Lively is missing and the captive killer is a John Doe.
Before he can investigate further, Detective Witwar uncovers Anderton's drug addiction and a brown ball is produced, with John Anderton as the killer's name, and some man called Leo Crow as the victim. In less than 36 hours, the precognitives say that John will kill a man whom he has never even heard of . But is it possible that there is a flaw in the system, that someone is trying to set John up? Now John Anderton is on the run, determined to clear his name.
After running from his own team and Detective Witwar, he finds Iris Hineman, who is known as the "mother of precrime." She tells him that while the Precognitives are never wrong, they sometimes disagree. These alternate futures are call minority reports.The minority reports are not reported but instead logged and hidden away inside the precognitives head. Detective John Anderton must now find a way to sneak back into precrime and find his minority report to prove his innocence.
"Be careful chief, when you dig up the past all you get is dirty." - Gideon
"How do I slow this down? Should I hit her on the head?" - Rufus Riley
"The precogs are NEVER wrong! But occasionally, they do disagree." - Iris Hineman
Minority Report is a film that not only holds the audience's attention with its plot and action, but also with its ideas and commentary on what the near future could be like. Minority Report begs the question, 'do the ends justify the means?' Yes, Washington D.C. has been six years without a murder, but as Detective Anderton questions "What about all those people I put away with alternate futures?!"
In the world of minority report, what little privacy the average citizen enjoyed at the beginning of the 21st century has completely evaporated. Police can see through walls, there are retina scans everywhere, and machines called syders invade your home to search for suspects without a warrant. For those who think pop up ads on the computer are bad, how about bill boards that address one by name as they walk down the street? Many have criticized the film for shameless product placement, but this reviewer and no doubt those who take the time to watch the special features disc, can tell that Spielberg's use of product placement is a spoof on the film industry's use of it. However after watching the film, I did have the urge to buy a Lexus and then go to the Gap while drinking a Guiness.
Director Steven Spielberg wanted to make this portrayal of the foreseeable future to be as realistic as possible, so he had a three day think tank in which he invited many of the great minds in crime fighting, transportation, social services, and technology to share what they thought they future would be like. Many of the technological toys featured in the film are already in the prototype phase.
Tom Cruise does an excellent job playing the same character that he usually plays, John Anderton seems to be just another version of Mitch Mcdeere, Jerry Maguire, or Lt. Daniel Kaffee, only this time has a dead son to brood over and drugs to do! Hollywood's latest bad boy, Colin Farrell is great as the 'is he bad or is he good' detective Danny Witwer. Many of the best scenes involve his character interacting with Cruise's, since both characters are so convinced of the other's treachery and of their own competence. For example, he reacts to Anderton shoving a gun to his face by saying "Put the gun down, I don't hear a red ball."
Samantha Morton plays Agatha, the most powerful of the precognitives. She blends seamlessly into her role, which consists of floating about looking terrified or sitting around being serene and wise. Her best scene is when she puts a human face to the precognitives. She has just be abducted by Anderton and while she shivers in the car she asks him 'is it now?' after he answers in the affirmative, she replies "I'm so tired of the future."
Many of the most interesting and entertaining characters who make the film enjoyable are the bit players. They steal the scenes and make the story appear to be just back ground noise while they perform. There is Rufus Riley, the colorful and slightly slimy purveyor of a cyber bar which allows its customers to experience their fantasies through a sort of virtual reality. "Take her to radio shack" he tells Anderton before being convinced to help him out. There is Dr. Solomon Eddie, the disturbed and disgraced plastic surgeon, who was arrested by Anderton years before for his "performance art." He gives Anderton the 'old pal discount' when he gives him new black market eyes. Gideon is the creepy, yet affable keeper of those captured by precrime. He likes to play the organ for them.
A very good chase scene takes place when Detective Anderton runs and escapes from his own team. He jumps from car to car on the "freeway," takes a ride on a jet pack through a kitchen , and gets in a fistfight with Colin Farrell in a car factory.
When sneaking back into Precrime, Anderton drops his eyeballs and has to chase them down the hallway.
While recovering from the eye replacement in the tenements, the syders, little arachnid like machines that seek out warm bodies for eye scans are sent in looking for him. Anderton cannot take off his bandage for another six hours for he will go blind, so he hides in an ice bath.