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Review written by: Alex Sandell
It's nice to know they still have Taco Bell in the
I'm still trembling. Minority Report is the movie I've been praying for. It's The Matrix, Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, A. I., The Fugitive, A Clockwork Orange, Memento and Back to the Future all rolled into one and spit back out at us through the grainy eye of film noir. It's an event movie that is actually an event. A blockbuster that actually deserves the blurbs. It's a popcorn movie that's so good you never eat a kernel of popcorn because your eyes are glued to the screen and your hands are clenched into tight little fists. It's a movie that takes you to strange, scary and beautiful places for a blissful 2 hours and 20 minutes in the same way you remember movies transporting you to wonderful worlds when you were a kid. It isn't a film that you watch as much as it is an alternate form of reality that imbeds itself into the deepest parts of the artistic side of your soul. It is nuzzled up with perfection and nestled in tightly with rapture. Needless to say, Steven Spielberg is back in form, and this film is gonna remind you just how much you friggin' missed him.
Last year Spielberg pulled himself out of a four year slump with the Kubrick created, Spielberg directed, A. I.. I praised the film in my review on this very page and took a lot of heat for giving that praise. This time around, I think that the rest of the world will join me in my enthusiasm over Steven Spielberg's latest creation. If they don't, the Scooby-Doo's, Attack of the Clones' and Scorpion King's of the cinematic world have finally managed to trade gigantic, hype-spewing, lemming-driven opening weekends for the public's collective IQ.
Although it takes a little more thought than your average blockbuster, Minority Report should bring back Spielberg's fans in droves, and have them doing repeat business that would cause E.T.'s jaws to have a close encounter with the floor faster than Amistad left the theaters. The patented Spielberg action and humanity that so many people thought was lacking in A. I. has returned. Like A. I. before it, it's a complex and innovative science fiction world with more than a tinge of absurdity (and fair share of product placements). But don't let that dissuade you; this time the intelligence of A. I. is matched - jump for jump, blow for blow - with the action of Indiana Jones. And our hero, Detective John Anderton, played by none other than perennial pretty-boy, Tom Cruise, has us rooting for him just like our friend in the fedora did so many years ago.
Although I vowed to myself that I wouldn't give away a single plot detail from Minority Report (if you've watched the commercials you know too much) in my review of the film, I had to mention Tom Cruise, and the action sequences Spielberg has him running, jumping and flying through. They're incredible. The best Spielberg has done since Indiana Jones had his Last Crusade, and better yet, Tom Cruise actually pulls them off. He isn't just rehashing his impenetrable stud with abs of steel performances from the Mission Impossible movies. Spielberg was obviously not going to let Cruise coast this time, and he actually gets a great performance out of him (as he does with each member of the cast). Molded by Spielberg, Cruise becomes the quintessential action hero - at least for a couple of hours.
To be honest, the only thing that wasn't perfect about Minority Report was that I had the ending figured out in the beginning and the movie had to come to an end. Just last week I claimed that The Bourne Identity would be this summer's film to beat. Well, Minority Report just beat it. And because I haven't liked a film as much as this since The Iron Giant was released back in '99, I think it will beat out everything else that is yet to come, making it the best film of 2002.
I can't recommend this film enough, and I implore you to see it. Regulars to my page know I can be an extremely difficult critic. I don't suffer crap lightly. I also don't go out on a limb like this for just any movie. But I think a film that put thankful tears into my eyes, brought back the gusto of youth, and reminded me why it is that I love film, is worthy of any compliment I can manage to pay it.
This film will exceed any and all of your expectations. In a single swipe Spielberg has once again raised the bar for big-budget filmmaking. He has set yet another standard that Hollywood will have to follow, unless it wants to fall into oblivion. From now on every sci-fi film will have to hold its own against Minority Report, just like they had to hold their own against great films like 2001 and Star Wars before it. Most of them won't succeed, but it will be damn fun watching them try. At the very least, it will be a lot better than it has been during the last few years, when they weren't even trying at all.
Missing Minority Report, if you're a fan of action and sci-fi, would be the cinematic equivalent of blasphemy. If this movie isn't a hit, there really is no God ... either that, or he has extremely bad taste in film.
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Text ©(Copyright) 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].
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