Making the Grades
Murder has ceased to exist in Washington DC or at least that's the vision in Steven Spielberg's latest epic Minority Report. It's the year 2054, and the Justice Department is coming to the end of a six-year experiment that has allowed police to arrest would-be murderers before they commit their crimes. Now the promoters of "Precrime" are sponsoring a vote to implement the plan nationwide.
Precrime is the result of harnessing precognitive technologies, with the heart of the system revolving around three individuals floating in an eerie solution with dozens of wires connected to their heads. These "pre-cogs" are kept in a state of semi-consciousness, allowing them to continually dream-specifically about the future and murders that will take place in metro DC. Using display screens, technicians can see what the pre-cogs envision, and under the direction of Precrime's adamant supporter, Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise), arrests are made.
It all works perfectly until the pre-cogs see Anderton murdering a man he's never met. Now he is the target of the very system he helped to build.
Using a variety of production techniques, Spielberg's futuristic environment even surpasses his visual efforts in AI. Fortunately, the story is more solid as well, and delivers a provocative argument about our abilities to make choices for ourselves-no matter what someone says the future is about to bring.
But the frequent inclusion of gratuitous violence along with a couple of brief but needlessly explicit sexual moments prevents this fine film from achieving "A" status. Characters are brutally shot on-screen with bullet impacts and blood depicted. When the guns are quiet, brutal hand-to-hand combat with kicks and other assorted weapons are substituted.
Another source of gore: Retinal scans are required prior to entering everything from a subway to a GAP store, leading to a black market in replacing eyeballs. One drug dependent character is seen with empty sockets, while another carries his replaced eyeballs in a small bag.
While artistically solid, the noted content (and some profanities) will prevent many families from putting Minority Report on their future movie list.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Minority Report.
The society depicted here is convinced that their future has already been determined. Is it dangerous to believe your destiny is in the hands of fate?
A character says the “pre-cogs” provide hope of the existence of a divine being. Do you agree? What things in this world would indicate the evidence of a divine being to you?
Invasion of privacy is rampant in this society. People are eye-scanned continuously and the “pre-cogs” have their individual rights removed for the benefit of the society at large. Do you think this type of activity is acceptable? Do the benefits outweigh the personal invasion of privacy?