Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Written by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen. Based on a short
story by Philip K. Dick.
Starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Neal McDonough and Max Von
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 6/23/02
Cruise + Spielberg = A match made in heaven,
right? Well, after Cruise’s so-so
“Vanilla Sky” and Spielberg’s
so-so “A.I.”, that might not be the case.
But, despite their recent track record, both
men seem to be back on track with the sci-fi thriller “Minority
Report.” This time around, Cruise plays Det. John Anderton, a DC
police officer that works for Precrime, a division of the DCPD that
fights crime before it happens thanks to some nifty technology in
the year 2054. Using three psychics known as the Pre-Cognitives,
the Precrime Unit shows up at future crime scenes right before
murders, rapes and suicides take place, and in the six years that
the Unit has existed, there has never been a murder in death-rich
Washington. But, the division’s 1,109th case has a pretty
intriguing suspect: Anderton himself, and predictably, he tries to
run from the very unit that he works for because the Pre-Cogs think
that he will kill a man he doesn’t know in just 36 hours.
You know most of this by watching the
trailer. But, thankfully, “Minority Report” is one of the few
trailers that doesn’t give away what happens in the second half of
the film...and, what does happen is good, twisty sci-fi cinema.
Cruise and his fellow supporting actors (including Max Von Sydow and
Colin Farrell, from this spring’s
“Hart’s War”) are upended by the
ridiculous amount of computer animation that Spielberg is now
employing with a bit of out-of-control abandon; paired with “A.I.”,
one wonders if there are any shots in his last two films that DIDN’T
have to be shot in front of a blue screen. It mostly works, as he
shows us a Washington of the near-future, with talking billboards,
auto-pilot transmission on new Lexus automobiles, futuristic weapons
and a laser-eye surgery that...well, that might be giving a bit too
much away. Some movies of late have gone overboard with product
placement (for instance,
“Spider-Man” comes to mind), but in
“Minority Report”, it is used to ingenious effect, especially with
the billboard sequence where our world of retail has gone overboard.
The film is very strong, with its length
being the biggest issue; at 150 minutes, it feels long because it IS
too long. Also, the film’s violence and a brief scene of sexuality
seem out of place in a PG-13 film; I thought that Spielberg would
have been better served had he just decided to go ahead and try to
achieve an R rating, since kids aren’t going to even want to see
this film. There are a couple scenes in the second half of the film
that deal with how Anderton enters a federal building that just
don’t belong here, and I could hear the gags all over the theater
when the sequence took place.
My biggest concern with “Minority Report”,
being a former DC resident, was with the height of the buildings in
a DC that is only 50 years from now. Why? THERE WILL NEVER BE
APARTMENT BUILDINGS HIGHER THAN THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT!!!!!!!!! In
the film, it seems like Anderton’s home and every other building in
the city are taller than the government buildings, which currently
would be illegal. Come on, man!! And, cops with jetpacks??
Everyone knows that the DCPD budget is abysmal; that’s why cops are
always crying about having shitty police cars, pop shooters instead
of Glocks, and those large cell phones from movies like “Wall
Street” instead of sleeker Startac phones. Are you trying to tell
me that now, in the year 2054, the DC government has such a surplus
of cash that they can put a jetpack on the back of every single
officer in the Precrime Unit? Nuh-uh!
But, that’s being picky. “Minority Report”
reaches expectations nicely, and it keeps you thinking right up
until the end.
Rating: $9.00 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard