Minority Report (2002): Spielberg Conveys a Deadly 2054

TOM CRUISE MONTH POSTER

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! We have reviewed four Tom Cruise movies so far this month, now let’s make it five! Before we go any further, if you do want to check out my reviews for “Oblivion,” “All the Right Moves,” “Days of Thunder,” and “Top Gun,” you’ll notice that the titles are highlighted, meaning that you’ll find the links right there! These are all other movies that I have previously reviewed for the purpose of Tom Cruise Month, but we’re not focusing on those right now. Instead, we are going to focus on the year 2054, which looks mighty pleasant compared to 2020. It is time to talk about “Minority Report” as we begin our final installment of…

*LIGHTNING CRACK*

TOM CRUISE MONTH

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“Minority Report” is directed by Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, Jaws) and stars Tom Cruise (Risky Business, Top Gun), Colin Farrell (Ballykissangel, American Outlaws), Samantha Morton (Band of Gold, Pandaemonium), and Max Von Sydow (Flash Gordon, The Seventh Seal). This film takes place during the year 2054 and is based on the material once created by author Philip K. Dick. In a future where Pre-Cogs can see upcoming murders and related criminal acts, a special police unit is supposed to stop murderers and arrest them before such crimes are committed. Interestingly, one of the police officers themselves is accused of a future murder.

Prior to making this review, I had not once seen “Minority Report.” And at this point, getting to witness something new, even if it is almost a couple full decades old, is kind of a treat. I bought the Blu-ray when I was in Santa Monica, California, and I figured this Tom Cruise Month theme would give me a solid excuse to pop in the disc. Unknowingly, I was aware of this movie’s existence. I mean, sure, I guess I knew the title and everything, but what I did not know was that this movie was the picture featuring Pre-Cogs. Like every other person under the age of thirty, I achieved a great deal of knowledge, or at least a conglomeration of useless factoids, over the Internet. If it were not for YouTuber Jeremy Jahns referencing one specific scene…

“Murrrrder.”

…I would probably not know squat about this movie, or at least acknowledge squat about this movie. So I will say, this movie must have stood the test of time in terms of being recognized in pop culture. Then again, it is a Steven Spielberg flick, and he has a fairly recognizable, prolific, diverse, and masterful library.

By the way, before we go any further, one of the biggest compliments I’ll give to this movie is that the framing is very well done. The scope of “Minority Report” pulls you right in. It does not disappoint. It takes this 2054 type of environment and makes you embrace it. Speaking of which, one of the best shots of this movie, is the first full-on glimpse we get of a Pre-Cog, which is shown in the GIF I would assume you have scrolled through fairly recently. It’s just so clear and crisp. I don’t know why, but the more I look at the shot of that Pre-Cog, the more I want to go into a pool. Although, maybe not until next year, knowing how things are right now. I will say, on that note, even though I really like the way this film looks, it’s not pretty all the way through, because I think the color scheme of many of the shots are a little too somber. Granted, “Minority Report” is not a comedy, it was never supposed to represent the best of times, even though we do get some classy looking cars in the future, but there are some times where this movie doesn’t come off as a soap opera from the script, but the color palette begs to differ. It almost reminds me of the “Point Break” remake from 2015, only this movie is twice as good as that film and in my personal opinion, technically qualifies as a “movie.”

Since this is a Tom Cruise movie, and given how this is the final entry to Tom Cruise Month, let’s talk about Tom Cruise himself. When it comes to Tom Cruise in this film, this is honestly one of his better performances. I think casting was a job well done with this film, not just with Cruise, but with names including Max Von Sydow and Samantha Morton. I bought into all their performances and it helped enhance the movie. I will say though, not that it matters entirely, Tom Cruise with a haircut like the one he has here is probably one of his inferior looks for one of his roles. But that’s just me. Also, if you know me, when it comes to Tom Cruise, I don’t always point out my love and respect for him through his ability to convey a character, even though he’s a respectable actor in that regard, but his motivation to perhaps nearly kill himself. Like some of his other movies, he does his own stunts here. Granted, I never really noticed anything as scary or heart-racing as say his plane hang from “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” as an example, but is nice to know that like some of his other projects, Cruise himself put an effort into the stuntwork.

One of the best parts of “Minority Report” is the concept. You have a special police force trying to stop murderers who are predicted by Pre-Cogs. I think the way that this movie went around executing the concept was worthy of a thumbs up. The movie kind of had me in the beginning alone. I will say when it comes to pacing it does slow down overtime, but the climax is fairly entertaining as well. It ups the pace of the movie when said climax begins, and it makes the viewing experience worthwhile.

Another point of the movie that stood out to me for a reason I truly should have grasped from the very beginning was the score. For the record, the score for “Minority Report” was conducted by John Williams, and I don’t know why for the life of me I didn’t conceptualize that from the beginning. I knew John Williams automatically went hand in hand with the “Star Wars” franchise but for some reason I completely forgot his attachment to Steven Spielberg, the two go together in the same way that Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan tend to go together. They have worked on so many films to the point where their coupling has become nothing short of iconic. When it John Williams, I will say, even though there are fractions of the score that I happened to like, it is one of inferior scores. This movie came out the same year as “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” another score that John Williams did. And even though I, along with many others, would point out that “Attack of the Clones” is a lackluster installment to the “Star Wars” franchise, there’s a solid chance I would agree with someone that “Episode II,” per usual had a kick-ass John Williams score. When it comes to his 2002 work, “Attack of the Clones” kicks “Minority Report’s” ass. Although, if you want me to go further, even though I barely remember, I do recall not hating Williams’ score to “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” But I have to watch that movie again as it has been forever since I saw it. Sticking with “Minority Report’s” score, I will say I enjoyed it, but if I had to say one standout negative about it, I think it’s a little overbearing on drums. Just a little bit.

Little sidenote, this review is being written in 2020, the year that “Cops” was practically taken off the air for a list of reasons, so I will admit, I did get a slight chuckle seeing that apparently the TV show “Cops” was still relevant in 2054. Just thought I’d point that out.

In the end, “Minority Report” is a good movie, and a likable futuristic vision with a clever concept. However, when it comes to futuristic visions, specifically ones that come from the mind of Steven Spielberg, I much prefer his vision of 2045, which was represented through 2018’s “Ready Player One,” as opposed to his vision of 2054, represented here in “Minority Report.” Then again, “Ready Player One” is based on a book by Ernest Cline, and “Minority Report” is based on a short story from Philip K. Dick, so in reality, it’s not Spielberg’s vision. Nevertheless, I think when it comes to movies that are set in the future from Spielberg, I personally prefer “Ready Player One.” Although I will say, one thought that has been in my head for a little bit about this movie is the desire to check it out once more. Not just because I liked the movie the first time, which I did. But I feel like there are possibly one or two crucial points that I may have glossed over that are worth noticing in the future. If your movie can get me to have a urge to go back and see it one more time, no matter what the reason (unless maybe I want to torture myself), I’d say a job well done is in order. There are better Spielberg movies out there, I’d say there are better Tom Cruise movies out there. But this was worth my time, I didn’t really have any regrets. I’m going to give “Minority Report” a 7/10.

Thanks for reading this review! Thanks to all who showed any ounce of interest in Tom Cruise Month! I will point out that July is coming up, and while I have no real theme for the month, I will note that “Tenet” is scheduled to come out pretty soon, so maybe I’ll review some Christopher Nolan movies if I have the time. I will point out though, given how I have not really paid much attention to this year in film all that much, I do want to give this year’s movies a shot before it is too late. So there is a solid chance that a lot of July’s content is going to be of some 2020 movies that I missed. I’ve got a few on Blu-ray, I can probably check a few movies through streaming if I have the proper account setup. And even though I personally don’t have Apple TV+, there is a movie coming to that service that I might end up reviewing if possible, specifically “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks. Because who doesn’t like Tom Hanks?! Be sure to follow Scene Before either through an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! Speaking of checking things out, if you want to see some more of my Tom Cruise reviews that are not exactly affiliated with Tom Cruise Month, the links are listed down below. These reviews by the way go all the way back to 2017, my second year of film reviewing on Scene Before. I want to know, did you see “Minority Report?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite John Williams score of all time? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Last Samurai

Risky Business

The Firm

American Made

Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible II

Mission: Impossible III

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Mission: Impossible III (2006): The Young and the Fearless *SPOILERS*

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the third review in some jackass’s series. The series can go by a number of names, might not even go by a name at all, but it makes up of all “Mission: Impossible” films starring Tom Cruise. If this mission is unacceptable to you, there are other “Mission: Impossible” films which the particular jackass has reviewed prior to this one. Those include the two films released earlier in the franchise, also starring Tom Cruise. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

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“Mission: Impossible III” is directed by JJ Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost) and stars Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai, The Firm), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Almost Famous, The Big Lebowski), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Lilo & Stitch), Billy Crudup (Big Fish, Princess Mononoke), Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Bourne Supremacy), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, Vanity Fair), Keri Russell (Felicity, Malibu Shores), Maggie Q (Nikita, Live Free or Die Hard), and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Mystic River). This film is about Ethan Hunt, who is marrying Michelle Monaghan’s character of Julia, while at the same time, he has to face an arms dealer who threatens both him and the girl whom Hunt intends to marry.

This is my third installment in my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series. I’ve already covered my thoughts on the first installment, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the more I think about it, the better it actually gets. The second movie, honestly was a fail and a half. It had some neat cinematography and some neat action with real cuts added to Cruise’s face during the final fight by the way. The “Mission: Impossible” movies, regardless of how good or bad they are when watching them, can become more interesting once you take a gander at the work put into them. This third installment is no exception. Tom Cruise once again does his own stunts, very pleasing to hear personally. This is also the first feature film directed by JJ Abrams, and its budget believe it or not is quite an expensive one for a first time feature film director coming in around $150 million. And the best part about this movie is that it is better than “Mission: Impossible II.” However, it does not mean that this film is perfect. I’ve actually watched the film in two sittings. I did so for two reasons. First, the Celtics-Cavs Eastern Conference Finals game was on. Second, I was kind of bored during the first half-hour at times. As I watched this movie, there were some times where I almost thought about checking out. I came close, but I survived. The story of the movie is nothing I raved about, in fact at times I almost got angry with it because it didn’t feel like an action movie like it’s supposed to be and felt more like a soap opera at times. And there’s your reason for my review title “The Young and the Fearless.” I may be cheating with this because I never watched the whole movie, but it kind of reminded me of “Jaws: The Revenge,” but nowhere near as excessive or terrible.

Say what you want about JJ Abrams. I know a friend who saw his “Star Trek” reboot, she’s a massive “Star Trek” fan and couldn’t be more dissatisfied with it. I am a huge “Star Wars” lover and I found his film, “The Force Awakens” to be one of the best “Star Wars” films ever made. Regardless of how pissed my friend is about “Star Trek” and how happy I am about “Star Wars,” I found “Mission: Impossible III” to kind of be in between those two in terms of the score. Ultimately, “Mission: Impossible III” is somewhere around the average range.

“Mission: Impossible: III” serves its purpose as an action movie where Tom Cruise kicks ass and takes names. Although with that comes some moments where you wonder how much longer the movie has left in terms of runtime and a relationship you kind of WANT to care about, but simultaneously when it comes to that part of the movie you can’t help not giving a single s*it. I buy into the chemistry between Cruise and Monaghan’s characters, but if I had to pick something that I believe deteriorates the film’s overall quality and my ability to fully enjoy it, that would be the #1 aspect of the film I’d choose.

In fact, when it comes to this movie, my favorite things about it have nothing to do with story and characters. I like the characters in the movie, but the real thing that keeps this movie going is the action, Michael Giacchino’s awesome score, and something I never usually point out, the lighting. The lighting in this movie is vivid and colorful at times and felt very suitable for a modern day action flick such as this one. His version of the “Mission: Impossible” theme is similar to Danny Elfman’s, who did the theme for the 1996 “Mission: Impossible” film. And honestly, it’s just as good, which is saying something because I really do admire Danny Elfman’s theme. I also gotta say that when it comes to choosing someone to score this movie, Michael Giacchino’s a great pick, because this is the same guy who did the score for 2004’s “The Incredibles,” and thinking about both intellectual properties, the ideal music I’d think of when it comes to both sound rather similar to each other. I mean, over the years, Giacchino has shown that he has more range in his music than the sounds and visions presented in “The Incredibles” and “Mission: Impossible: III,” but if I heard Giacchino was announced to do the score for this movie back in the 2000s and I had already seen “The Incredibles,” I’d be completely sold.

I know I already said a lot about Tom Cruise, but seriously, I gotta give credit where credit is undoubtedly due, the dude can act, he can do stunts, he can do action, just give him any movie script and he can automatically make the movie better. I will say though, as much as it is a treat to see the character of Ethan Hunt on screen, I wouldn’t say his reasons for having anything to do with the movie made him shine like a star. He, just like a lot of the characters in this film for the most part, feel somewhat wasted. There’s something about them, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly that something could be.

And while I will say that most of the characters feel like they don’t stand out, one character who not only stands out, but also stands tall is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character of Owen Davian. I… LOVE. THIS GUY. If I weren’t into the technical aspects of movies or action and mainly focused around movie characters, Owen Davian, the film’s main villain, was spectacular in just about every sense of the word. His interactions with other characters, his threatening presence that you as a viewer are automatically subjected to during the film’s beginning, and Hoffman’s performance. Davian is probably my favorite character in the movie, and I gotta say, RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman, you knocked this character out of the park.

Last but not least, this is getting into spoiler territory, so you have been warned. But I want to talk about how Hoffman dies in this movie. He and Cruise are fighting each other and it’s kinda thrilling. They’re outside, and at one point, Cruise is lying on the road. Hoffman is on top of him. Then this truck comes in, it’s very fast, and SHABANG! It makes contact with Hoffman, Cruise is lying under it avoiding the possibility of getting ran over, then seconds later, you see a black shoe that is obviously Hoffman’s. F*cking brilliant. That death is perhaps the one of funniest I’ve seen in the movie, at least for a major villain. The only thing that would make the death funnier is if the truck actually happened to be an ice cream truck playing music, or when Hoffman got hit, you’d hear a Wilhelm scream.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible III” is definitely a much more watchable movie than the gosh-awful “Mission: Impossible II.” Tom Cruise is great, JJ Abrams had a great movie directorial debut, and I have to praise a lot of the technical aspects of the film as well. However, this movie to me does have its issues, and the issues absolutely deteriorate the score. As much as I appreciate the script being about character building, I just wanted more action. And somehow when I was going through the action, it just didn’t satisfy me. I felt like it was just going on for a tad too long in certain sequences. That’s just me though. So for now, I say for now, because this definitely might change in the future depending on what happens. I’m going to give “Mission: Impossible III” a 6/10. This is not a bad movie, very enjoyable indeed, and I’d probably give it another watch in the future, but if the movie adjusts a few things here and there, the score would definitely boost. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have my review up for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” I’m seeing that movie tonight and as I promised, I’ll have my review for it up tomorrow. As for other reviews, I still have to see “Deadpool 2,” I might go see a movie this weekend, maybe that’ll be the one, we’ll have to see. But summer’s comin’, which only means I have a lot more free time, and a lot more content that can definitely be produced. So with that in mind, stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “Mission: Impossible III?” Or, as sick as a question as this may sound, I’m somewhat curious to know your opinions on this. What is the funniest death you’ve ever seen in a movie? Now don’t kill me for saying that, I have no motivation to kill any of you, so I don’t see why you should have a motivation for doing the same to me. If you all have a perfectly sane mindset, just jot your thoughts down in the comments section, I’d appreciate hearing them. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!