In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.
The content is amazing - all the little details that put the audience firmly in the middle of the 21st century. Personally I can absolutely believe that technology will have advanced in the kind of ways portrayed in the film within 50 years. Just look back 50 years into the past and you should be able to see why. The lives of everyday people in the film, where they are scanned and advertised 'at' all day every day, apart from an excuse for product placement (and why not?), certainly make you think about a world where 'they' know your every move (a future towards which we are already hurtling with some speed).
The style is amazing - why the wooden balls? Because they're cool is why. I like to think that as we progress as a civilization we will keep a few such elegant idiosyncrasies knocking around. The plastic, chrome and glass sets, objects and architecture all looked clean and functional and the way that they suck the color out of a scene worked well and gave the film a distinctive palette. The cars are the best looking vehicles I have ever seen in a film. I have only one criticism here - why do all the computer displays look like Macs? Surely a touch unrealistic ;)
The story is amazing - complicated, yes, but also engrossing, exciting and scary. There are elements here that are only hinted at, but which give the plot a depth increasingly lacking in modern action flicks. And it asks the kind of questions about morality, justice, exploitation and society that'll keep you thinking for much longer that the film's two and some hours.
The direction and performances are amazing - the pre-visualization on this movie must have been a nightmare and yet all the incredible special effects blend perfectly into a visual style that is completely natural and assured, as might be expected from Spielberg and Michael Kahn. There are, of course, numerous references and homages to the work of Stanley Kubrick, which have given a hint of the edge and flair of 'Clockwork Orange' or '2001'. I hope it will continue to be a big influence on Spielberg.
Cruise delivers a first class performance as usual, but the discovery of this film is Samantha Morton as Agatha. Who saw the film and didn't share her terror and vulnerability? Little touches such as the way she clings to Cruise, almost like a baby's reflex, make her a character you immediately care about, innocent and tragic.
Anyway, if that's not enough to recommend the film, then you'll probably never find another one you like again. But if you need another reason, go to see it just for another fantastic soundtrack from the master, John Williams.
Full marks, five stars, a must see several times and buy the DVD movie.
- Jul 17, 2002