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MINORITY REPORT (2002)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenplay: Scott Frank and Jon Cohen
Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick

Produced by: Gerald R. Molen, Bonnie Curtis, Walter F. Parkes, Jan De Bont

Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max Von Sydow

Available on VHS and DVD
Running Length: 145 minutes
MPAA Classification: PG-13

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Action, Crime, Sci-fi

Reviewed by Larry Jung
(December, 2005)

As you can see by the dates, I have just gotten around to seeing MINORITY REPORT. I owe this to my buddy who lent me an armful of DVD's and VHS tapes so I wouldn't be bored sitting in a hotel room. If not for that, I would probably never have seen this movie. As it happens, after seeing MINORITY REPORT, I didn't have the urge to go out and buy my own copy.

The movie was good enough to view once, but doesn't have enough story to warrant repeated viewing. Don't get me wrong, by enough story I don't mean a screenplay with some great message or off-beat photography. There should be enough story to want me to spend time with the characters and their problems. One of the best ways to entertain is to get the audience involved with the characters. More so in a mystery movie. In spite of the sci-fi background and special effects, this is a mystery movie. Tom Cruise must solve who is bad guy and bring the bad guy to justice. Unfortunately for me, Tom Cruise pretty much doesn't break a sweat. There is no being on the edge of your seat wondering will he win or lose. Even his former wife risks all to rescue Tom...well she would, wouldn't she, he being Tom Cruise. There was no wow at the end of the movie. Pretty much most who watch TV will have guessed the bad guy's identity before the first refill of popcorn.

For those of you who think I missed the meat of the story, here goes. Yes, the movie brings up the age old battle of privacy vs. security, free will vs. pre-determination, freedom vs. civic responsibility. For the sci-fi folks, there is the age old conundrum of cause and effect in time travel stories. In MINORITY REPORT, the issue is whether by going into the future and preventing a crime from happening, can an individual be legally be found guilty for something he or she had not done? Don't look for much more than an honorable mention on these issues in the movie. Perhaps with repeated viewings, the story might reveal more to me. But making the trip once with Tom Cruise was enough for me.

As a side note, several movies have been loosely based on the written works of Philip K. Dick. The most famous is BLADE RUNNER, starring Harrison Ford. Dick's short story had something that inspired Spielberg and Cruise to make MINORITY REPORT. If you are not acquainted with Dick's body of work, the short story of the same name of this movie is as good as place as any to start. Be forewarned, Dick can at times be quirky and the word paranoia comes to mind.


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