DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
May Contain Spoilers!
In 2002, Speilberg gave us two movies. The first was Catch Me If You Can (2002) and the other was this. Both were good but one gets better with age. The clue is that is isn’t Catch Me If You Can. Minority Report is based on the Philip K. Dick novel, and deals with the concept that in the future, murder can be predicted by “Precogs”, a trio of drugged up youths who are cursed with visions of impending murder, which can be translated into data and interpreted by a team of police officers, led by Tom Cruise.
But the issue isn’t really about can we do this or how does it work, rather SHOULD we be doing this? Is it ethical to punish people for what they are destined to do or can they, with foreknowledge change their path? Following the lead of Cruise, who is still grieving the loss of his son at the hands of a paedophile, he finds that it is HE who is about to commit murder and is forced to run in order to prove that he is innocent.
Or is he? The complex story of ethics, philosophy and straight forward crime and corruption, Spielberg takes his time, and guides us through the world, a world in which your eyes scanned everywhere you go, newspapers are capable of playing video and cars drive themselves.
But he also shows us the flip side, in which there’s a black market for human eyes and the state taking too much control from citizens but depicted in a very subtle way. The action is a little dull though as where Spielberg is concerned and a lot of the plot is derivative. None so much as the scene in which Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell) is betrayed, which looks like it was almost lifted right out of L.A. Confidential (1997) and a set piece scene in a car factory which looks like it was an alternate for the droid factory conveyor belt sequence from Star Wars: Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (2002).
The biggest fault with this film though its final act, which seems to go off a bit, leading me to think that they struggled to come up with an ending, but besides that, this is Spielberg at his best, tender, thoughtful and intelligent. The world feels real and fully realised yet fantastical enough to be pure science fiction.