Monday, June 2, 2014

A Minority of Tension

The Minority ReportThe Minority Report by Philip K. Dick
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not an old, crusty sci-fi fan who read this when it came out in '56. No, I'm a neophyte who only knows about The Minority Report because of the 2002 movie version. It's hard not to associate this solid, yet too short short story with that blockbuster flick starring Tom Cruise...


...and I'm not even going to try. Why? Because I loved the movie, even though I hate Tom Cruise. Maybe "hate" is too harsh. Let's just say I've never liked him and have only tolerated watching his movies, all the while wishing it was someone else in his role.

Even with my anti-Cruise bias, I really enjoyed the heck out of the movie and expected the same with the story. Well, that didn't happen. Oh, I enjoyed it all right. It's perfectly fine. However, it lacks tension. Certainly high-stakes are on the line for our hero Anderton, the head of police force that captures and incarcerates would-be criminals before the crime is committed, but figuring out what's going on is made all too easy for him. It needed to be teased out a bit more.

I have to hand it to the screenwriters and director Steven Spielberg for tricking out this pedestrian story and turning it into a fast, fun, 2+ hour thrill ride. In comparison, the original story is like a quarter's worth of floppy anti-climax on one of those sticky, paint-chipped, slow-moving mechanical rides out front of your typical beat-down grocery store.

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