collaboration has produced a fast-paced, exciting film with stunning
Detective John Anderton (Cruise) heads the Pre-Crime Division for the
District of Columbia in the year 2054. Pre-Crime depends on three
psychic precognitive humans, or pre-cogs, who exist in a flotation tank,
their brain waves fed to computers. The Pre-cogs are able to channel the
premeditated thoughts of murderers and warn the police before the
killings actually take place. As a result, there hasn't been a murder in
DC for more than six years.
Anderton is an absolute believer in Pre-Crime and has no reason to
question the assertion that the Pre-Cogs are never wrong. The fact the
arrestees haven't technically committed any crime does not bother him.
This unshakable faith in the Pre-Cogs virtually dooms the subjects of
their visions. All the considerable resources of the Pre-Crime Bureau are
immediately put into action when a murder is foreseen. Anderton becomes
the object of these efforts when the Pre-Cogs envision him committing
murder. The victim is a man Anderton has never met and he cannot believe
he will commit this murder in less than 96 hours. He has no choice but to
The technology displayed in "Minority Report" is very convincing,
mostly due to it not being too farfetched. The interactive computers,
identification technology, proliferation of all types of media and modes
of transportation seem to represent a natural evolution from what we have
today. Some interesting product placement is used, most notably a
futuristic Lexus automobile.
Cruise is effective as Anderton, although casting a superstar in this
role adds nothing but box office appeal. Colin Farrell is excellent, as
is Max Von Sydow as Pre-Crime Director Burgess.
Although he does not use the most ambitious or complex CGI technology
in "Minority Report," Spielberg employs it most effectively. The blending
of special effects and live action is absolutely seamless.
"Minority Report" marks Spielberg's return to popular filmmaking and
science fiction. The most successful director of our time has crafted the
best big-budget action film of the summer thus far.
* VAN NOVACK, 48, is the director of institutional research at Cal
State Long Beach.