Rewatched Apr 15, 2012
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with the admittedly wild premise of psychic slave-detectives continually undercut by generic and utterly outdated tricks of murder fiction, most egregiously when the killer gives himself away by accidentally voicing information that only he could know.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.