Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Minority Report (Steven Spielberg)

Tom Cruise: jumping futuristic cars and anticipating crimes.

Film Review Archive (date seen: December 11, 2010)

“Blade Runner”, “Total Recall”, and now “Minority Report”. Philip K. Dick’s alternative view of dystopia and the condition of future society has influenced modern filmmakers. From cyberpunk films to neo-noir-ish treatment of the sci-fi genre, his works have, although its scientific ideas were not entirely plausible, in some ways, churned up visions that might as well be prophetic and relevant to both our world’s current technological advancements and present state of morality.

Fresh from his work on the Kubrick-conceived “Artificial Intelligence”, Steven Spielberg then tried to merge his own visions with Philip K. Dick’s, and the result is “Minority Report”, quite possibly one of the best sci-fi films of our generation. I’ve always preferred sci-fi films not delving into much computer-generated overkill, but in this case, I have to make an exception. Because although Spielberg is quite well-known as a visual baroque, this film is less a flamboyant display of futuristic computer-altered images than it is an effective portrayal of a ‘perfect’ system that is really not what it seems to be. Tom Cruise is great as John Anderton, mixing his past experiences with hard action films with emotional depth and some mild black comedy (in the eye transplant scene, with the exceptional Peter Stormare).

Paralleling Max Von Sydow’s character’s surname (Burgess) with “A Clockwork Orange’s” author, both works deal with the same subject matter. And though a bit different in substantial attack, have clamored for one common, irreversible fact: That ‘crime’ cannot be prevented by the repression of human nature. Its solution lies within one’s own “choice”. An outstanding film that meritoriously worked on a cerebral level, but also did not falter on its entertainment value.


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