Minority Report 2002 ★½

Hadn't seen it since it first came out 10 years ago. Remembered hating its hybrid shiny/grungy future aesthetic and sub-Columbo whodunnitry. Reverse Shot's recent reconsideration of Spielberg's entire output made curious to watch it again. If anything, I disliked it even more this time. Every aspect of the production and plot feel over-engineered, with the admittedly wild premise of psychic slave-detectives continually undercut by generic and utterly outdated tricks of murder fiction, most egregiously when the killer gives himself away by accidentally voicing information that only he could know. ("I never said the victim died by DROWNING ... ") It also shares one of the common failings of high-concept sci-fi – almost every single fucking word of dialogue is basically exposition. Inception drove me batshit in much the same way. Samantha Morton does give it some welly though, and Spielberg got as nasty as he could with all that eyeball stuff, but he doesn't seem in control of the world he's created here – the scenery wobbles, and the whole thing feels self-conscious and staged.

2 Comments

  • Couldn't agree more. Of all the Spielberg movies I am making myself watch this year, Minority Report fills me with most dread. I tried watching it last year but Tom Cruise's utterly obnoxious performance combined with the wildly inconsistent tone (unforgivable in a director as accomplished as Spielberg) forced me to bail out before the half-way mark. I won't be reading the Reverse Shot essays until I've re/watched the movie in question but I'm astonished to hear they're praising it so highly.

  • Ha ha, I was thinking of writing a review for this film, but you said it all. You even gave it the same rating I did. The problem with this film is the sub-Agatha Christie plot and it's exactly the same problem with Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. Both film's should have prioritised atmosphere, setting and character that would have rewarded repeated viewing but decided to force a clunky plot on both experiences. It was as though they only cared about making you guess "whodunnit". An unpleasant trend. I blame Manoj Night Shyamalan.

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