Saw Minority Report on Sunday. I haven't read any of the reviews that others have posted. I'm probably going to say a lot of the same things.
It was an okay movie. The plot and most of the acting was absolute Shaaaaving Cream [Dr. Demento reference]. The thing that really spoke out to me about this movie was the background detail. The setup of the whole future environment. Triple kudos to Production Designer Alex McDowell.
A lot of futuristic movies show all vehicles, equipment and everything as brand new, polished and ultra clean. Minority Report isn't all like that. There's a "well worn" quality to a lot of the props, they were dirty, gritty and used.
I also appreciated that there were still places away from the city that were not all technologically equipped. That widely varying degree of technological advancement makes it more real.
In the near future, individuality, personal freedom, privacy and anonymity almost did not exist anymore.
You go anywhere and there are retina scanners to track you. Walk into a department store and you're accosted by generic ads that just tack on your name somewhere to make it "personalized". Or they really do personalize it by bringing up your last purchase. Any and every surface has become advertising space. Suburban housing all looks exactly the same - the only way to tell which house belonged to the Marks' was to see that Howard left his door ajar. Metallic spiders to do retina sweep scans of an entire apartment building complex. And human life is so invalued that we can use variations on a cattle-prod.
And the whole Pre-Crime system was just the latest in the removal of human rights in the name of Public Safety. Agatha, Arthur and Dashiell didn't want to be there. The three Pre-Cogs were held against their will and best interest. They're kept in a drugged, foggy state to project the pre-crime reports.
They can see a homicide before it happens and the purpetrator can be legally prosecuted for it. Granted, it was a pilot program, but it looked like they were treating the purpetrators as guilty on arrest no matter what the situation was. They had two "witnesses" watch the pre-homicide footage before they made the arrest - why would there be an urgency for witnesses if they weren't considered guilty yet? Maybe they just didn't get around to telling us about the rest of the justice system, but it really sounded like there wasn't one. There was no mention in the denouement of what happened to all those people who were convicted under the Pre-Crime system with a Minority Report or without.
The thought that that kind of future is not that far off, is unsettling.
The actual plot and acting were terrible. There were so many places where Husband Guy and I would turn to each other in our seats and give each other the WTF? look.
For example, Detective Ed Witwer (the Justice Department Spy Guy) is in the Temple control room for the first time and is mouthing off about the validity of Pre-Crime. John Anderton breezes in and hucks one of the name balls across the surface to him to demonstrate the weak analogy. Witwer caught the ball knowing it would fall if he didn't. But it didn't fall. Just because he caught it, doesn't change the fact that it would have. Uh, hello? Humans have way more control over their lives and choices than an inanimate object has over gravity.
That viewing system interface was just plain stupid. It's a neat idea but what a waste of energy! This is where Tom Cruise is standing in that circle waving his hands and arms to control the viewing system. He looks like a cross between Zubin Mehta and an airport runway traffic controller doing tai-chi after a huge marijuana party. I was expecting him to use his legs and start kicking, kneeing and punch-punch-backflip combo for 1000 points. I bet John Anderton has a black belt in Shotokan and kicks butt at Paraparaparadise.
And it was your regular pulled-out-of-the-ass-at-the-last-second denouement.
Samantha Morton was wonderful as Agatha. That was about the only character with any colour in the movie, but I didn't feel they developed that enough either. Maybe Dr. Hineman too, which Lois Smith did really well.