Minority Report is episode 98 focusing on the movie of the same name, as part of the Pod Me If You Cast miniseries covering the filmography of Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks era. Posted March 6, 2017.
Joanna Robinson (Vanity Fair) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2002’s dystopian thriller: Minority Report.
Prolific podcaster Joanna Robinson joins Griffin and David to talk about the first and long-awaited Cruise/Spielberg collaboration, Minority Report. One of David's favorite movies.
It's Tom Cruise's third decade of movie stardom but this was his first sci-fi movie, affecting his trajectory for the next 10 years at least. Spielberg was in the midst of one of his patented "comebacks," with a 1-2 punch of action/popcorn movies. (Catch Me If You Can, coming next!) Throw an ascendant Samantha Morton and a hot hot Colin Farrell into the mix, and they really had something cooking. And speaking of Samantha Morton, the last scene of the movie may reveal something about Spielberg's intent in terms of whose story he is really telling.
Released nine months after 9/11/01, did this movie have anything relevant to say about that and its national aftermath or would that have to wait for the next Cruise/Spielberg team-up? Can Colin Farrell do an American accent? Is Tim Blake Nelson dangling his feet into The River of Ham, or is he diving deep? Is there a meta narrative for Cruise and Farrell that comes to a head in the elevator scene and the car factory fight? And does Spielberg use too much paprika at the end?
Milestones and Ephemera
- Added to David's MadTV reel: Max von Sydow
- Joanna Robinson to #TheTwoFriends: JoRo, or RoJo
- Cameo: Cameron Crowe
- Alert! It's a S.W.A.T. mention!
I love this show and I love hearing Griffin and David's opinions about movies, which are almost always more informed than mine. I had never heard the theory, talked about towards the end of the episode, about how "it's all a dream" after Cruise gets imprisoned, and I agree that is a silly dumb idea. But complaints about "oh, that happy ending was dumb, dur dur dur" is not the problem that I had and have with the movie, and I don't think it's the problem that some critics at the time had either. It's a strawman argument that is brought up in the episode just so it can be rejected.
I absolutely adore this movie right up until the countdown on Tom Cruise's watch hits 0:00. Hard cut to black after he reads the Miranda Rights and lowers his gun, and it's a movie that makes a valuable point about fate and fatalism and fallibility and freedom of choice. Not only that, it could have made a hugely valuable statement about the 'preemptive strike doctrine' in the war on terror being debated at the time, and there's your timely commentary for ya.
The Scooby-Doo-esque storyline and resolution after the gun is lowered should have been cut and the few little hints leading up to it replaced or edited out. Or turn those hints into a much more straightforward and more effective story about simply obstructing minority reports in general and building up the 'precogs' as infallible, and make a point about systematic police or governmental misconduct in accruing power. The mystery/conspiracy that Spielberg puts in not only muddies that potential message, it nullifies it in favor of making it a story about one stupidly cartoonish bad guy that viewers can easily dismiss.
Anyway, the last ~20 minutes of this movie are goddamned garbage and I will never stop being angry about it.