By Peter Colaner
For me, science-fiction films are hit or miss.
Sci-Fi films are so cold, raw and distant that I have trouble connecting with the characters and story on an emotional level. But, with this mentality, I really like the Sci-Fi films I like.
And “Minority Report” is no exception. This film is genius.
Considering that “Minority Report” became a highly successful film, I have great respect for this film. What started off as a short story by Philip Dick, author of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” is stretched into a 145-minute, Steven-Spielberg-directed blockbuster that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
While reading Dick’s short story, I was picturing how this story would unfold onto the big screen. And after watching the film, I was shocked by how different my vision was from the one carried out.
“Minority Report” does what so many other animated films don’t: intelligently blend science and philosophy into an action flick.
Science fiction meets philosophy at the Precrime Division where three “Precogs” visualize future crimes, setting forth the Precrime police unit to stop crimes before they happen. But now knowing that they were destined to commit a crime, would the soon-to-be criminals still break the law?
Precrime Chief John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, thinks otherwise when he himself is accused of carrying out a future murder.
It’d be awfully hypocritical if Anderton evades the system he himself oversees, yet there are dire consequences if he succumbs to committing a crime he shouldn’t have. But, as many of us would, Anderton goes on the run. However, that doesn’t do much, because this cleverly set-up conflict of being accused of murder follows him throughout the film. It haunts him and forces him to make decisions he might otherwise not make.
U.S. Department of Justice agent Danny Witwer, played by Colin Farrell, is an antagonistic pest who exacerbates Anderton’s struggle. Just like how Oliver Dake, played by Christopher Denham, is a leech in his investigation of Chuck Rhoades, played by Paul Giamatti, in “Billions,” Witwer has his thumb pressed up against Anderton’s neck, driving him to the point of wanting to kill.
And that’s what makes this film so great. Deep down, Anderton wants Witwer gone, but killing him would prove that he was destined for murder down the line.
“Minority Report” is a major hit. Rarely do I identify so closely with characters in sci-fi movies, yet the complex dilemma dealt to Anderton left me feeling I had no other option but to root for a future murderer.