Minority Report (2002)

Tom and Steven team up to provide a sci-fi electric that is anti-equated with its technological advancement making us see clearly what the future holds for mankind!

Minority Report

DreamWorks Pictures in association with 20th Century Fox, Amblin Entertainment and Cruise/Wagner Productions present…

Creator Philip K. Dick gave the ideal setting of a fantastic conundrum for every individual to contemplate on: Will the future of crime prevention ever be the same again? A sci-fi Writer in the 50’s shares his thought provoking short story, his troubled past combined with his physical and psychological detriments which made him paranoid to the rest of the world!

Precrime paved the way for the betterment of mankind (or so it seems), a controversial film treated consciously with sensitivity seeing that it affects the general populace point of view and more importantly the specific undertakings of having this kind of efficient but intrusive justice system running the state.

The main focus is what we “see” in actuality and in juxtaposition to what will happen! Scott Frank (Out of Sight) and Jon Cohen in his debut Screenplay helped incorporate the fascinating and intriguing story on a man on the run! Privacy will be a thing of the past, seeing a society’s dilemma would be our actual sanctity, homes, work, financing even to the most trivial like the favourite music we listen to or movies that we watch are being monitored closely to know what we as human beings want and need in life.

Another aspect of the film shows how someone walks in a tube station filled with dynamic images on walls and as they scanned your eyes for obvious reasons, the advert says your name in front of the public now that would be a fascinating experience…for a 14 or 15 year old but not with the general consencus, won’t you agree? It signifies progress, innovation of a society, easy customer service but straight in your face style! Now that’s something not constructive!

Director Steven Spielberg (A.I.) brings together another science fiction epic that has a more serious and mature undertone. The Minority Report was remarkably made coming from the minds of futurists conveying thoughts, generating ideas as they were gathered by the Director to build a “think tank” in a matter of three days. The project was behind the best people in the fields of inventions, transportation, medicine, crime prevention, business, advertisements, architecture, designers and technology in general. A future that we can build and foresee but ironic how it becomes deterrent to what’s in-store for us!

Set in 50 years from now, Alex Mc Dowell (Fight Club) the highly praised Production Designer for the film explains how the transposition of Washington DC surroundings will be intact, will still be the same but with city landscapes and skylines that are infused with futuristic architectural structures!    He gives actual props to connect the journey, to evolve the time set for the film to be genuinely believable. He knows what to place in the building which Steven and Janusz appreciated explicitly to match the needed tone from lighting, camera direction and perspective which all of these culminate in the psychological subject matter at hand!

For instance, the glass encased Precrime Department instil openness and no secret can be hindered or enclosed by the people around it, though in contradiction to say that the storyline tells a different tale…

From ILM, Scott Farrar is their Visual Effects Supervisor who manages a group of VFX specialists to cover grounds on the film’s brave new world. From Art Concepts, Compositing, to Sequencing, CG, and Editing intensive details to make it gritty and realistic as possible covering the transportation system called Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) which makes cars hover over highways that goes up in buildings, the Holograms in every screen content being made translucent and detailed! Another set to be built was the Containment area where only 19 people were used in order to replicate hundreds of them in cylindrical chambers, these were seriously a complex undertaking since all angles and details are considered to make them unique in every shot made.

From a commendable person being brought in to our review is PDI/DreamWorks Visual Effects Supervisor Henry LaBounta who discussed more about my favourite police gadget being used: The Spyder, very precise in detail and shot through CG to enable their simple and yet distinct functional display of inspection. It’s convenient to use in hard to reach places from slums to creaky apartments. I love the way they were shot on screen on an overhead crane where different scenarios taking place to convey the suspense while looking for the wanted former “Chief”. From a mother and her daughters, a censored couple, to a mildly interrupted arguing husband and wife, an old man doing his “cleansing” and to a blind man in hiding. The shot was amusing and really stirs up your senses; they were like mechanical puny police officers just doing their job! I remember the aliens from the film War of the Worlds and the hilarious Tachikoma from the anime “Ghost in the Shell”, they were like spider tanks with awesome manoeuvrability and firepower (they also fight crime and talk a lot).

Academy Award Winner Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan) is the Director of Photography collaborating with Steven to bring the ambiance of the film into something susceptible, with the underlying nature of an action thriller but not in the way life is anticipated to be full of enthusiasm! Instead, it’s dark, damp and submerged into a cool lighting with the colour blue as the main focal point of the spectrum giving a forlorn take on the city of New York where gleaming facade of skyscrapers to lord over the streets but underneath it, is something more ominous and unknown!

This coincides with the premise of the film very well where people are met with daily activities knowing that they are safe prior to the establishment of Precrime! But the main concern is, how does something that works give absolute confidence to the populace of the city? Unless it was certifiably perfect right? But all things are meant to have flaws and in this given situation; before you know it, you are the next target of this contemporary system that protects humanity in the first place…

Still one of the bankable stars to date, Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire) is Chief John Anderton, his character here is more diverse and personal seeking refuge in a cold, empty house that he used to call home. His depression in keeping his family safe and intact has now been diminished, he’s like a lost soul fighting for the people’s well-being which originated from the loss of his son and also after his wife left him. He wants to redeem himself for the painful past but some hurts won’t go away easily!

While finding his ways and means to get through his predicament, it got more aggravated while being implicated in a pre-murder which gives levity to his Minority Report that was actually missing. Samantha Morton (Under the Skin) is the gifted Agatha, the only woman in the trinity of Precogs. She is the one who can give a final answer to John’s problem in finding the truth and solving the greatest crime of all…

Tom always gives that bravura action man icon persona as a way of showing people his work ethic is exceptional and for me, the zeal he brings to the screen makes him commendable in my book! To add, he still let’s sentimentalism provide more direction in his performance. He’s always in a struggle in his films whether its family, a loved one, a friend or his job he makes it more impressive to ante up the notch to get the audience’s approval!

Veteran Actor Max Von Sydow (The Priest) is Director Lamar Burgess who needs to exorcise his demons in this film! His cogent performance often provides a man with a strict demeanour, strong and a father figure such in movies like The Exorcist, Solomon Kane and Robin Hood. Another “when in Rome” Actor Colin Farell (S.W.A.T.) who plays Government Agent Danny Witwer, John’s work is tested by the Justice Department Representative. You got to hand it to this guy, he plays most of the time a hesitant or anti-hero even if he was doing things for good reasons which I find him detesting at times. He wants to make sure that there is something wrong with the Precognitives and will find a way to expose it to gain more accolades or for his own benefit!

With fan favourites supporting the flow of the story you can never go wrong with the likes of    Neal McDonough (Walking Tall) as Officer Fletcher, Peter Stormare (Fargo) the insane unlicensed Dr. Solomon Eddie and Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk) as the always chatty Sentry, Gideon of the Department of Containment. They did all their parts to share the world of John Anderton from being Chief of Precrime working with officers of the law, then hunted down by his own team and being locked up indefinitely for a crime he never committed.

On another note, some elements of the film were questionable the first one was how come Howard wasn’t seen at the side of the bed from the two intended victims before he commits his murder? Second, why was the old woman from the exiting the coach scanned while her eyes were closed? Third, it was a film in 2054 how come the sub-way coach looks the same back in the earlier days? I also noticed that casted old women kisses Tom on the lips in his films some examples were “Eyes Wide Shut”, “Mission Impossible” and in this film as well! (Tom you naughty boy!)

To sum things up, it all comes down into one singular point, that in spite of technological advances even merged with the human psyche, all must have a breaking point, everything has its purpose and limits and that makes susceptibility to failure not only a given fact but also a proven conclusive evidence!

Case closed, turning in the final report!

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