4. Minority Report (2002)
Based on PKD’s 1956 short story THE Minority Report, the film is the story of a future detective agency charged with preventing crime through the use of precognition (Precogs) and the program’s leader. Of course not everyone is happy with the thought that people are detained and imprisoned indefinitely when no actual crime was committed. And what about self-determination and fate? If you are foreseen as committing the crime and you know, can you stop yourself?
Both the story and the movie explore these themes although the film version is a bit more heavy handed in its take.
The Good: Exploration of PKD themes. Above average acting all around by the entire cast. The mechanisms of precrime work almost word for word as they do in the book. The mystery and the use of the actual Minority Report was actually done better in the movie.
The Bad: Bubble gum storyline. As is par for the course Spielberg inserts his own brand of feel good tragedy. The entire brooding Anderton storyline – the drugs, the loss of a son, etc. – are all add-ons that were unnecessary. The scene where Anderton is faced with his victim is a HUGE letdown. It’s almost the equivalent of having Greedo shoot first in the Cantina – ALMOST. And the happy ending probably had PKD rolling in his grave.
Written word to film differences: Anderton is old and full of self-doubt in the story. In the movie he’s Tom Cruise (literally). The son-kidnapping-revenge storyline is specific only to the movie.