Sunday, July 22, 2007

Very Late Movie Commentary: Minority Report

I know just about everybody who will ever see Minority Report has already. It came out in 2002, and I just now watched it on cable.

But there's a plot problem bothering me. I'm not referring to why John Anderton's eyeballs still open doors after he's been fingered by pre-crime. And I'm not referring to the general idea of changing the future or free will or any of that.

I have a problem with the pre-cog's vision of Anderton's crime. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy, something resembling the "grandfather paradox" of time-travel science fiction. Now, it's one thing to suppose that a free-standing prophesy of this kind could form spontaneously. I might not agree that it could happen, but if we're talking about seeing the future then the audience is already suspending disbelief. But it's another thing entirely to think that somebody could cause this situation to happen. How did Lamar Burgess cause the pre-cog to see Anderton killing the patsy, thus creating the situtation where Anderton actually killed the patsy?


Anonymous said...

okay - this post blew the 'serious political blog' statement out of the water. i vaguely remember Minority Report, i slightly more convincingly remember not liking it, while still feeling it was better than Vanilla Sky.


Sockless Joe said...

I guess I was more than a little disturbed by a gaping hole in the central point of the plot of a mega-budget film. The whole point of the film is trying to figure out how the main character was set-up. That question is never fully answered. We know who did it, but no idea how.

I was also more than a little disturbed by how liberally Ron Moore "borrowed" from Minority Report for use in the Battlestar Galactica "hybrid" concept.

(In case anybody is unfamiliar with the Battlestar Galactica "hybrid", it's a woman lying in a shallow pool with crap hooked up to her head, speaking gibberish that occasionally seems prophetic. The hybrid "is" the Cylon BaseStar, not merely a pilot.)

Haven't seen Vanilla Sky, and don't plan on it.