Steven Spielberg directed Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell in this near-future action movie. CGI has got a lot better in the eighteen years since its release. The movie relies so heavily on future technology and CGI that it feels quite dated visually. The subject of pre-crime detection does not seem as farfetched with everything we know about government and private industry data collection today. This leaves the movie in a somewhat mushy middle.
Tom Cruise delivers his typical, un-aged, fast running performance. Emotions outside of anger are not his strong suit, but this movie does not need much more from him. This is an early Colin Farrell movie and you can see the star he will become from his performance. Farrell must have a rider on his contracts that he be impeccably dressed. Outside of the CGI, the movie is well-executed under Spielberg’s direction. It doesn’t venture anywhere that new and is just the sum of its parts.
The plot is very simple and straight forward. Chief John Anderton, Tom Cruise, is accused of committing a crime in the future by the pre-crime detection system. He starts finding flaws in the system related to his case. Danny Witwer, played by Colin Farrell, is the government auditor who is also finding holes in the system during his review before a nationwide rollout. The company in charge is private and run by Director Lamar Burgess, Max von Sydow. Burgess is hesitant to hand the reins of his company over to the government but does want his big payday. Everyone's motivations are laid out for the audience explicitly. The third act twist can be seen from miles away because the table setting has been pointed out in painful detail. This is not a movie that should trick you.
As technology in movie production advances, films from the transition period will stick out more and more for their technological shortcomings. It is going to be hard to rewatch the movies and not laugh at the visions of the future or primitive computer animations. The stories will remain intact and true masters of storytelling will become clearer. Stephen Spielberg has made many wonderful movies. He, like Ron Howard, is a man to get the job done, but sometimes movies are overhyped due to his attachment. Minority Report is still a fun watch with a timely message, it just happens to be stuck in a visual time capsule from 2002.