Review: Minority Report a worthy sequel

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

This Scripture quote describes the entertainment industry exactly. It is an industry obsessed with sequels, prequels, imaginations, remakes, spinoffs and ripoffs. Last season the gimmick was to come up with an American version of some show that had already been successful overseas. This season the theme is make a TV series out of a hit movie. The biggest examples are “Limitless” which we will review separately elsewhere and the new Fox series “Minority Report” which we will discuss here.

In case you missed it, the 2002 film version of Minority Report was directed by Steven Spielberg based on a short story by famous science fiction author Philip K. Dick. It starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton. The film is set in the near future Washington DC area where the local police have the authority to arrest you for a crime you did not yet commit. This “pre-crime” arrest is based upon information from three psychics called “precogs” who are kept in a semi-coma state. They’re connected to machines which read their thoughts as they have visions of violent crimes which are about to occur. Tom Cruise plays one of the special police officers who are part of the pre-crime unit however he stumbles onto a secret and suddenly he has been accused and is sought for a pre-crime of his own. The title of the film and TV show comes from the fact that the three precogs don’t always agree 100% on what will happen. Sometimes two of them agree and the third one issues a minority report about an alternate future.

The TV show takes place 10 years later. Pre-crime has been abolished because of the scandal uncovered in the film. The three precogs have been released to hide out in a cabin in the woods so that they will not be inundated by visions and other people’s thoughts. The story revolves around one of the three precogs named Dash. He leaves the isolation to make his way in the real world and to try to prevent some of the crimes that he envisions. Not by having people arrested prior to the crime but simply by changing the future and preventing the crime by other means. He teams up with a detective named Lara Vega who discovers who he is and what he’s trying to do.

The problem is that Dash was the weakest of the three siblings. His older sister Agatha would see the big picture of a crime, his brother Arthur would pick up details and Dash would fill them with all items that the other two missed. This particular plot device leaves plenty of room for Detective Vega to use ordinary police skills to try to figure out what bad thing is when to happen. Think of it sort of as “Person of Interest” without the computer.

Occasionally he has to resort to seeking the help from his precogs siblings Agatha and Arthur while attempting to solve a crime. And there the end of the first episode we see that there is some sort of destiny awaiting the three precogs that has yet to unfold.

Detective Vega is equipped with all sorts of futuristic crime-fighting tools that allow her to re-create virtual crime scenes on-the-fly and other sorts of typical sci-fi crime-fighting tricks. The special effects are above average for a weekly TV series and the action is strong enough to keep you interested. The story is peppered with some typical stranger in a strange land kind of humor because Dash has not lived a normal life and have absolutely no social skills whatsoever.

I did not mention the stars of the show because they really can’t be called stars. I didn’t recognize any of them from any other films or TV shows. Even looking up their resume on the IMDb did not jog my memory in a way that would make me say “oh yes I remember they were in ______”.

I’m kind of person who will watch all but the most horrible science fiction show. So saying that I’m going to watch it probably is not much of an endorsement. However this one looks like it is well above average if quite outstanding must-see TV. So it gets a rather strong “I’m watching it” rating. I suggest you check it out especially if you like sci-fi.

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