Minority Report:
A Great Summer Action Flick with Super Speilbergian Effects

No, Minority Report is not a census of the number of Haoles in Waipahu.  It is a killer Summer movie that picks up the techno-slack that left 'Attack of the Clones' viewers wanting more.  Yah, Yoda the jumping flea was good for a few laughs, but that only lasted about 2 minutes.

Originally written in 1954, the Minority Report was a short story by Philip Dick.  It's based in the year 2054, and murders are a thing of the past thanks to 3 pre-cog psychics.  These poor buggers, desperately in need of a tan, are kept sedated in a nutrient pool and a dark room known as 'the temple' - enslaved and oblivious.  It's all part of an experimental pilot 'Pre-Crime' unit which has brought the murder rate to zero percent in the city.  Tom Cruise plays the main character John Anderton, a Pre-Crime Detective who himself becomes the prime suspect in a pre-murder case.  He is backed by memorable performances from a talent-filled cast, including Max Von Sydow (yes, he's still alive and looking actually younger than ever!), Peter Stormare (Fargo and Armageddon), and Lois Smith (Twister).  See if you can spot two 'Cameron Cameo's' during Minority Report, as both Cameron Crowe and Cameron Diaz make brief appearances.

Cruises character runs, treating the audience to a roller coaster techno ride through this futuristic environment.  The film made me cringe and squirm more than once (let's just say there were some eye-popping scenes involved) and also had its share of sequences which made the whole theater jump out of their seats.  Maybe it was the loud sound system at Koko Marina, but I enjoy those heartbeat-raising moments.  Not many films can creep me out anymore... It's a lost art, and Spielberg is certainly a master at it.

High Tech
Minority Report goes extra heavy on the high tech.  Whereas Episode Two's special effects were too 'computer-ish', the futuristic items in Minority Report actually look like they are working devices.  We're talking Wall Screen TV's, Hologram Pictures, Spying Spider Robots, and Magnetic Freeways.  Not to mention that Tom Cruise wields the coolest computer mouse this side of the universe.  Rocket Packs, Pulse rifles, sick sticks and a futuristic super Lexus' are also showcased.  Believability is the keyword here, and more than once I found myself saying 'Neato' out loud.  I'm a gadget man, and this movie more than satisfied my gadget fetishes.

The Mood
Washington DC is totally transformed to match the mood of this movie, which is carefully kept at a consistent level of bleak.  In fact, the whole movie is bleak.  Filmed in a Blade Runner-esque grainy washed out look, it looks like Steven Spielberg attempts to do just the opposite of what George Lucas is trying to  do... (Lucas' films contain bright, vivid, digitally enhanced colors)  The 411 verdict is in, and the grainy washed out look wins the realism trophy hands down.  Attack of the Clones looks like a Saturday Morning Kids Cartoon compared to Minority Report.

A Ton of Sponsors
The Gap, a kids Cereal (complete with animated box), Sunglasses, Lexus...  These companies all paid good money to be a part of this movie, and it looks as if the investment was a wise one.  Spielberg definitely gives these sponsors their moneys worth, as each product is worked into the storyline instead of just being subliminal placements.

Gripes
It's 144 minutes long, which was about 20 minutes more than my short attention span could process at once.  Even being that long, Spielberg somehow felt the need to explain the conclusion to us multiple times through multiple characters like we didn't get it the first time. The second half lost a little bit of steam, as the special effects budget probably was tapped out by the second hour.
4.5

The Bottom Line
Ahhhhh, you gotta go see it.  Only the fizzled out cliche ending prevented this movie from being a 5 out of 5.  The scenery, futuristic vision, and techno-displays were enough to keep this webgeek happy.  The final report from this minority?  Give it a 4.5 cruise rating out of 5.

Hawaii411 Rating Box -
Minority Report
4.5 cruises out of 5


Links:
- visit the official homepage at www.minorityreport.com
- view the Trailer
- check out some photos
- see a cool precrime homepage