Monday, April 18, 2011
Movie of the Week
MINORITY REPORT (2002)
Starring- Tom Cruise, Max Von Sydow, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
This neo-noir, sci-fi thriller is one of the more overlooked and under appreciated films in the Steven Spielberg canon. Not only are the action and special effects first rate, the story is a compelling one that twists and turns and makes you think. There is almost so much to think about it is good to see it a few times so that you can drink it all in. Spielberg does a great job in borrowing from multiple genres for this film, as well as using innovative techniques like desaturating the color of the film to give it a very unique, modern look.
The story is set in the not too distant future, where Washington, D.C. is the hub of PreCrime, a police force that uses the talents of three 'pre-cogs' to see murders before they happen and prevent them. John Anderton (Cruise) is the tortured head of the team who, while good at his job, struggles with an addiction to narcotics after the loss of his son. While Anderton and his team are being audited by the Department of Justice the pre-cogs predict a murder that shows Anderton as the killer. What follows is a furious chase as Anderton tries to prove his innocence while being hunted by his own men and the ambitious Department of Justice representative Danny Witwer (Farrell).
Throughout the frenetic and tense manhunt there are intimate, expository moments that get into the deeper layers of the story. The film's main theme is the question of free will vs. determinism, and whether or not the future can be determined or not. Spielberg wisely avoids directing the viewer toward one point of view or another, and allows the film to play out to its conclusion. Also up for debate is the issue of what role government should play in the protection of its people, as well as the ethics of holding innocents hostage and using their skills for the greater good.
I am reluctant to say much more about Minority Report because the layers are so many that this review could easily get too long, as well as the fact that I don't want to spoil what is a very engaging who done it. Cruise does a nice job as the conflicted hero, as does the always watchable Max Von Sydow as PreCrime's creator. If you plan to watch this film be prepared for a thrill ride, but also be prepared to do some in depth analysis. This is and isn't just an action movie.
Things to watch for-
Peter Stormare's snot rocket
The 'hot' nurse
The Cyber Parlor
"There hasn't been a murder in six years. The system, it is perfect."