Think Twice, Just Not About Murder: Second thoughts on Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002)

Initial Thoughts: The first thirty minutes are some of Spielberg’s tightest and most pristine sequences ever, introducing the Pre-Crime world with awe-inspiring special effects and a hard-boiled detective squad specializing in action over interrogation. But the film falls under some dead weight in the second half, showing countless plot devices and relying heavily on Cruise’s overacting. Still, Minority Report holds up as a hypnotic, always fascinating Neo-Noir, with an axe to grind when it comes to political greed and domination.

Screened 1/14/08: Watching this for the third time, it’s clear I didn’t previously appreciate Spielberg’s glorious pacing in the second half of the film. The scene with Tom Cruise’s Anderton and Samantha Morton’s pre-cog escaping through a shopping mall comes to mind. Spielberg plays with motion and time in an interesting way, showing how the patterns of civilization (randomness, instinct) can be manipulated and utilized by a select few to help discover ones fate, with Spielberg (as director) also doing so to advance the plot. Honestly, each time I view Minority Report something new in the direction and set design appears, subsequently making the film more fascinating in terms of science fiction mise-en-scene and action. The length of Minority Report has bothered me both previous times but now, in hindsight, it feels perfectly calibrated until the mushy denouement.

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