Minority Report: The Questionable Law

In the year 2054 a system allows crimes to be predicted, what makes murder rates go to zero. The problem is when the detective John Anderson, one of the main agents against crime, finds out that it has been predicted that he himself would commit a murder, putting in risk his own reputation and trustworthiness.

One thing really draws my attention on this Spielberg’s production: the accuracy they show on some predictions. Such as:

  • Autonomous cars
Fun to imagine but maybe a scene more likely in 2200.
  • Personalised Advertisement
Not so diverse from the ads we face today, right?
  • Facial Recognition: This was to me pretty awesome because it is really happening. From governamental control for security to smart stores (like Amazon Go – in which you buy only by facial recognition and a QR code). “The eye scans, useful to police, are vital to commercial interests to track customers. Technology is not necessarily the enemy — homes spring to life in helpful, efficient ways — but privacy vanishes.”
Fun fact: the sound on the beginning is the same as when you recharge an Apple device.
  • Gesture based system
And this already exists.
  • Vaping: e-cigarettes didn’t exist back in 2002
Tom Cruise inhales in some kind of vapor.
Interesting video about Facial Recognition and Targeted Ads showed on Minority Report.

A thought-provoking inquiry into just how far we as a society want to go to make our environment safe.

And this question is one of the main topics: Is there any justice in PreCrime system? Is it against free-will, or is it justifiable because the purpose it serves society? Just think of how many people were unfairly put into those VR cells. Or were they really murderers even though they haven’t commit the crime itself? What makes a criminal? A criminal act or a criminal thought? Maybe the thought is enough, once it is a potential dangerous act.

Another thing: what are these evidences based on? Supernatural visions? They seem very accurate but perhaps it lacks reliability to such a serious sentence. What about the trial? The criminal has no right of defense. As the pre-cogs have their visions, is it so certain the crime will happen that it justifies the arrest?

The pre-cognitives were a result of a highly advanced genetics transmutation, and they were the only three left. They were kept in a semi-conscious state within a pool with neuro transmissores plugged in so it could transmit all their subconsciousness see to the computers. The visions generated, by the system, a red and a wooden ball containing the name of the future murderer. The police would intervene and put the person under arrest in a cryogenic tube where they should stay for an undefined period of time.

The pre-cog’s vision assume that the future is already determined and that it happens that way. Isn’t free-will a reality? Can’t the person change their motivation and walk towards another resolution? This is really food for the brain and has basically no answer. Is there any fate, any predestined certain event that could be foreseen? Or are we constantly constructing our reality all the time by our choices? How would society accept this once they could be the next prisoner? Never knows what the future can hold and apparently humans have no choice but to be imprisoned by their future – almost certain – acts.

“In Dick’s version, most of the public has accepted this arrangement because it works. It has eliminated murder and most other forms of crime. As one character puts it, ‘Punishment was never much of a deterrent, and could scarcely have afforded comfort to a victim already dead.’ The criminals, on the other hand, grasp at one ‘basic legalistic drawback’– the fact they didn’t do anything.”

And what about the imprisonment system? In Agatha’s words: “She didn’t die… but she’s not alive.” People were just put in a halo prison, where they can have their delusions, on their pseudo reality. “It’s actually kind of a rush. They say you have visions. That your life flashes before your eyes. That all your dreams come true.”

How terrifying is it to be stuck with no one but your own hallucination?

A question: the ending. I couldn’t understand the ending so illogical it was. Anderson was a prisoner and suddenly his ex wife releases him, Lamar kills himself and the company is closed. It seemed non-sense that the system would break so easily, once so solidly established. For me it was all John’s illusion, everything happened in his mind while in jail.

Extracts of the book “The Cinema of Steven Spielberg: Empire of Light”
written by Nigel Morris

And how about the soundtrack? I’m suspicious when it comes to John Williams because I do love his works. It really fitted the “impossible mission” atmosphere which are so obvious in Cruise’s movies (although a bit ridiculous, isn’t it?).

Overall, this isn’t my favorite movie of all times but certainly a must watch to anyone’s list. My final quote: It is easy not to commiserate to something until you are put into that situation.

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