With Tom Cruise, Max Von Sydow, Lois Smith, Samantha Morton, Peter Stormare
Directed by Steven Spielberg
It is 2054. The police are solving murders before they happen, utilizing
a trio of Precogs (someone who can see future events). How? Technology
manages to extract visions they have as a 3-pronged psychic unit in
an isolation chamber (called the Temple), analyzing it like video
clips and finding the location, arresting the offender to be before
they can do any harm.
SEEING THE FUTURE VIA LITERATURE FROM THE PAST
Another one of Philip K. Dick's short stories get the Spielberg treatment,
like his last outing with the moving A.I. Dick also wrote Ridley Scott's
Bladerunner and the recent Impostor. Again it represents a fabulous
future vision where retinal scans personalize your access, identity
and even target you for advertising - using your name in product pitches
as you pass ad billboards. Traffic, video newspapers, animated cartoon
cereal boxes, TV and data storage all get marvelous futuristic spins
- the set design and digital trickery blending wonderfully, Spielberg
melding the human factor with that of the invisible post production
in a virtually seamless believable way while still offering us traditional
drama, suspense and action.
Tom Cruise is the cop (with a bitter past, obviously) who keeps his
State safe from murder, the rate reverting to zero since the programme
was instated a few years back. There's a vote coming up to have the
program go national, an ex-theology student turned cop arriving to
investigate any flaws the seemingly impeccable method may have. After
a rare visit to the Temple, the female of the Precogs communicate
a clue to Cruise - our hero cop then becomes the suspect in a future
crime, seeing himself kill another man. The chase is on for him to
find out where and who the stranger is and why he'd want to kill him.
A set-up? It's not exactly a mystery as to the "who", but more a "how"
While Cruise carries himself well, as usual, it does feel a bit like
he's reiterating his Mission:Impossible character with forgivable,
justified flaws. As the lead protagonist having to find the key to
his own innocence, the entire film rides on his shoulders, but with
such an array of amazing visuals, sub-plots, gadgetry and red herrings
woven into the narrative, Tom's starpower is a by-product when it
comes to drawing audiences towards this picture. Notwithstanding the
Spielberg moviemaking legend.
4 / B
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