||An excellent mystery, with a true
paradox to start it off, but parts of the solution require the police to
be real idiots.
This movie gets
full marks for presenting a realistic future in a movie. The imagination
of the creators was astounding. From the cool cars and eye scanners,
from which we can see that freedom is a thing of the past, to the moving
vines, to the amazing effects of the screens that John Anderton uses to
probe a future murder, the near-future looks pretty interesting. I just
wonder why the city lacked color -it seemed that all of the color was
washed out, especially at the beginning.
The acting is also impressive. Of
course, Tom Cruise always does a good job of running away from people,
running to people, and just fighting them in general. He is also no
stranger to being set up. Makes me think of
Mission Impossible. One of
these chases in particular, through the car plant, was funny, as well.
Sure it was predictable that he would drive away when the car was
completed, but it was also really funny.
The advertising was annoying. I
understand what they were trying to achieve, and it was probably in Phil
K. Dick's book, as well, knowing how he writes, but it was very blatant
and got in the way of the story. It also made me wonder why he was
wandering through the city, when he knows what tactics the unit would
use, and how they would identify him. The first chase scene had him
knocking out officers equipped with armor and rocket packs, while he had
none of those. What good are those helmets, then? Still, it was typical
of an action movie, that we are used to seeing it.
The movie began with the required scene
in which John catches a potential murderer. The three "pre-cogs", kept
sedated in a special conductive solution, flash out images of murders,
which are analyzed by the people like John. He almost doesn't make it in
Somehow, the government wants to make
this a national program. Does this mean they have other pre-cogs
available? Or do these three have such incredible range? Regardless,
this means a federal agent has come to check for flaws in the system.
The moment they stated that they system was perfect, and that the
pre-cogs were always right, I knew that something would go wrong soon.
The very next potential murder sees
John racing through images only to find his own face behind the trigger
of a gun. This sends him on the run, even though he doesn't know the
person he is supposed to murder. I liked the way the paradox played out
-a lot. It also got to showcase the world John lives in.
Because of the pre-cog images, he tries
to find out who the man is he is supposed to murder. That leads him to
the building where the murder will take place, and to actually murder
the man. Talk about manipulating the system! On the way, he finds out
that the pre-cogs sometimes disagree, and they produce the "minority
report" that implies some things might not have happened even though
they were predicted. That was interesting, because it means there was a
reasonable doubt that some people might not have killed their victims,
given the chance. As several events later prove, this is a world of
difference from proven guilt.
John also gets to ride a vertical
highway (how far down did it go; he seemed to have a lot of time to jump
from car to car), which lets him off in a yoga class, nearly in perfect
form! He gets new eyes, to defeat the scanners, which is a disgusting
scene. I actually had to look away as he started eating the moldy food
and drink, provided by a criminal that he had put away years earlier.
And, he gets to steal Angela, one of
the pre-cogs. This is where the stupidity of the police shows up. Do
they not have the common sense to change the codes, or to trip an alarm
when he tries to enter their building. As the federal agent says, he
thinks he is innocent, so it's obvious that he will come back to get the
evidence. The scanners are already in place!
But Angela is the most powerful of the
pre-cogs. She tells him what to do, which implies that she can see the
future in detail, even without the others, which goes against what
PreCrime officers believe. We are told that they dream of murder, and it
is implied that this is the only prescient ability they have. It also seems that she can
see potential futures,
when she describes Shawn's life to his parents.
The flaw in the security shows up again
later, when John's wife is able to enter the police high-security cell
using John's removed eyeball. When she realized he had been set up by
his boss, due to the slip of the tongue, she gets him loose, and they
play Angela's images of a past murder to the public.
The system that they use to catch the
director doesn't really make sense under analysis, either. If the woman
would be killed by two different people at two different times, wouldn't
they have produced two sets of names on the wooden balls? Obviously Pre-Crime was lying when
it said that John's crime was committed right on schedule, since his
alarm went off minutes before he actually killed the man in the
apartment. Wouldn't the cops know about the discrepancy, and be at least
uneasy about the system after that?
Still, those are little things, and
they don't detract from the movie in any way. The world felt very real,
the technology was neat, always a must for this kind of movie. I really
liked the spy spiders, interrupting everybody no matter what they are
doing. I thought John was free when he dunked into the ice-cold bathtub,
but those spiders were able to pass an electric current through the
water to get him up! I wonder, though, why he didn't go blind. I guess
he got another six hours of sleep after they left.
There was a real human dilemma to the
situation, as well. John is a tortured man, since his son was kidnapped
six years before. He is taking drugs because of it, and his wife left
him (for so simple a reason that he looked like their missing son?),
which spawns the events, since the director knew that finding a man who
claimed to be his son's kidnapper would send him over the edge.
And so, in this and in the suicide at
the end, we are shown that we still have free choice, especially since
they both know their future. I love the paradox!