Minority Report questions (spoilers)

Well, you have to remember that the whole idea of pre-crime is relatively new. The agency has only been around for six years, and additionally, it’s an experiment, or a work-in-progress, rather than a permanent institution.

So, I’m sure that there are those who think the project will just wither away, and thus, they do not want to commit to installing plaques and such in front of their home and/or business.

Something that might be a plot hole is that Cruise somehow knows that the precogs saw him getting killed by Van Sydow. At that point in time, he couldn’t have known it, since that vision comes as he is talking to Van Sydow himself.

I was disappointed in the ending, i thought Von Sydox should have still killed Cruise, he already killed two people to protect his Pre-crime baby, why not add one more to leave a leagacy? he have five bullets, he could easily have taken himself out too to prevent being “haloed.”

The biggest plothole i saw was how did they get that legislation past the ACLU, who only get a dismissive mention in the movie?

A few notes:

  1. I do not believe there is a logical loop between Crow’s (not Crowe’s) murder and the murder only taking place when the precogs’ visions set the murder in motion. I believe it’s logically consistent.

If von Sydow sets up the deal with Crow to exchange his death for taking care of Crow’s family, von Sydow is at that point planning to have Crow murdered. So the precogs can get the vision early; hence the brown ball, and I agree the ball being brown is a major clue. We can presume that von Sydow would have made some arrangement to have Cruise hunt down and kill Crow had he not been on the lam. At that point, the murder is likely to happen. The fact that the precogs then “see” that the murder will happen the way it does changes the path of history, but the murder might have happened anyway; so they sense it anyway, at at the moment of sensing it, the fact they know about it changes the path of history, and it’s set up the way it happens. They way they saw it happening is of course more or less the way it did happen. Crow was still murdered by von Sydow - it’s just that Anderton was in the room, so he looks guilty.

  1. Cruise doesn’t have to KNOW the precogs saw von Sydow shooting him. He can just say he knows it; it’s a reasonable assumption at that point, and what difference does it make if he’s wrong? He’s just trying to talk von Sydow out of killing him.

The Precogs do sense von Sydow murdering Cruise; von Sydow just chooses at the last moment not to. It’s established in the Crow scene that someone can make the final decision not to go through with it despite what the precogs sense. Which, of course, makes the injustice of Precrime all the more obvious.

  1. I think it’s clear Agatha has considerable psychic powers. Her not being able to sense rapes and assaults ahead of time from within the tank may simply be because she’s far away from it; her precognitive tricks in the mall directly affect her and all happen within a hundred yards/a few minutes of her, so that may be within her capabilities where sensing a rape 5 miles away is not. IF someone was going to rape Tom Cruise right there in the Precrime HQ, they might sense that, but it’s just never come up.

  2. The one thing I don’t understand is the limitation of the system to Washington. It seems absurd that their range only extends as far as the borders of the District of Columbia. And if that’s roughly the area it covers, it makes no sense at all that von Sydow did not just lure Ann Lively outside D.C. to kill her.

Another one about killing Ann Lively.

So, the Pre-cogs predicted the drifter killing her.

  1. Why wouldn’t they have deposited a brown ball, since the drifter was hired and in advance knew he was to kill Lively?

  2. Why didn’t a brown ball come up for Sydow with Lively as the victim?

  3. Why was there only one ball with Lively as the victim, when there were supposed to be two murders of her?

Regarding how Anderton knew he’d be shot at the end: he could possibly have been in touch with precrime at that point. Precrime put the precog data through to his location, so it might have been a conspiricy between them and Anderton. Anderton was wearing a hood, which could have obscured an earphone he was wearing. But that’s just speculation on my part.

Speculation aside, a likelier explanation: whenever it seemed likely that a murder would take place, the characters ALWAYS referenced precrime tactics: “I don’t hear a redball alarm”, “You know why I can’t hear the spiders? Right now, the precogs can’t see anything”

So at this point, you know what will happen when someone wants to kill someone. Anderton knew he’d provoked the man, so he could assume that if he provoked him far enough, there’d be a redball alarm. He’s close enough to the system that it’s just common sense for him.

I think the whole “experimental” aspect of precrime (its youth, limited coverage area, etc) was necessary for the believability of the ending, in which the system is dismantled.

Still, the computers that composite the crime images might also focus the precogs’ talent on a specific area (like positioning an antenna to pick up strong signals from one direction). But that’s just speculation; really, the system was designed small so it could be taken apart easily when it failed.

What about this as a paradox?

The pre-cogs see the murder and freak out. Sorry to use such a technical word there. But by freaking out, they inform the pre-crime squad and the squad stops the murders from taking place. So if there is no murder, the pre-cogs can’t see anything for the murder is no longer a part of the future. That means that if the pre-cogs attempt to warn, they’ll change the future and stop their own vision for that vision is no longer the future. But if they don’t warn, they’ll have to warn. But if they do warn, they’re not telling of the future anymore. But…
It’s a conundrum, I suppose.

I’m still troubled by the apparent paradox of how the precogs saw cruise murder crow, when the reason he ended up there in the first place was DUE to the vision. In any event, I have another question…

Is it possible that the last half hour or so was Cruise’s vision of the perfect life, after he had been imprisoned? Could it exist only in his mind? Remember the prison guy saying something to the effect of “I heard you live the perfect life in your mind”, or something like that. Immediately after that, The plot is exposed, and Cruise and his wife are shown living happily ever after, with a baby on the way.

Whoa, that didn’t occur to me at all. Shades of Total Recall there, another movie based on a Philip Dick story.
What was a halo, anyway? Some sort of neural tranquilizer? People seemed to get awful shook up over the idea of getting one, and it gave me the impression that it was something permanent. But Anderton seems to wake up just fine after being imprisoned. Unless zuma is right.

As a potentially interesting aside, the original story plays the minority report angle a little differently:

In the original there is actually a different prediction by each of the three pre-cogs. Two of them agree that Anderton is going to murder someone, so he’s flagged, and runs. In the story he already knows about the minority reports, and goes back into Precrime to get it. What he discovers there is that the two agreeing reports actually disagree about the location and manner of the murder. The first precog predicts the murder as it was originally supposed to happen. The second precog’s prediction is slightly delayed, and in it he doesn’t commit the murder because he knows about the prediction. The third prediction is even more delayed, and is based on Anderton knowing what happens if he doesn’t commit the murder, that being the dismantling of Precrime. So he goes ahead and kills the guy in order to keep Precrime going.

But that’s exactly what they did do. They pulled up all the people in DC whose names matched the name on the ball for the perpetrator. Cruise matched the picture on the guy’s DL to the person in the precogs’ visions, and got his address. The problem was that the house had burned down and they had recently moved, and they were unable to find out where they had moved to in enough time, so they had to go from other cues. They had the address, but the house wasn’t there any more.

Interesting idea. That would put Cruise in two movies in a row where his character is in that situation!

He was wearing an earphone; you see him take it off just after he pulls back his hood. He had been talking to Max Von Sydow over it and takes it out once he steps out onto the balcony with him.

Oh, duh, you’re right. Well, he has two ears, doesn’t he? I guess he could have been wearing two . . .

“it makes no sense at all that von Sydow did not just lure Ann Lively outside D.C. to kill her.”
Well is this that hard to rationalize?

Perhaps Lively had to be killed quickly before she made a big fuss about Agatha and there was no time to lure her out. Perhaps Sydow had tried to lure Lively but it hadn’t worked (maybe Lively was suspicious).

It doesn’t seem to be that big a hole.

"I thought it was weird that they didn’t just look up the victim’s address as part of their investigation "
A variant of this: surely with the advanced technology at that time it would be possible to have a detailed photographic database of every building in the city from various angles and instant matching from the visions. Of course it would make for much less drama.

One of the problems with the movie (which I liked btw) is that the ethics against pre-crime are hardly as cut and dry as the ending seems to make it. For one thing pre-criminals don’t have to be punished. They could just be caught and warned and presumably they would in most cases desist from commiting the crime. Or pre-crime could be used as a purely diagnostic device after the crime; this would still eliminate a huge number of murders anyway form deterrence.

The biggest ethical problem is the use of the pre-cogs but even here isn’t it possible for them to be used part-time in some way while still leading a normal life. After all Agatha clearly seems to have pshychic powers even in the real world.

My definition of premeditation involves determing what you are going to do and whom you are going to do it to well in advance of the actual event. Anderton’s thoughts of murdering his child’s kidnapper couldn’t have been more than varied fantasies. Therefore, the only plausible explanation (if there is one) would be lawoot’s that because Agatha was actually there she was able to get a better premonition of a crime of passion.

I also disagree on this one. I think it would be stretching things to assume precogs can pick up on elaborate schemes. We are told they are affected by the act of murder itself and that and that alone is what they predict. Burgess wasn’t planning to personally commit murder, he was planning on duping someone into killing someone who wanted to be killed in the first place. If you really deconstruct it you can make it work, but I think it would have been much more consistent for Burgess to allow Anderton to discover Crow for himself. Then we could see the internal struggle of Anderton, who knows he will be detected by the precogs if he lets his fantasies get too real.

Because Spielberg has lost his touch, and doesn’t bother to worry about minor details like plot holes anymore.

Yeah, and in nondescript alleys. Better yet, why wouldn’t people stop murdering altogether, just kidnap someone and leave them tied to a pole with an IV drip to rot.

My other problems with the film were I didn’t think it was futuristic enough. Judging by the people I’ve spoken to I’m sure I’m alone on this one but I didn’t see many of things I was expecting, even in passing. There was no artificial intelligence, no advanced robotics, and no practical applications of nanotech or biotech that I saw. We didn’t even get to see what the internet was like in 2054. I did like the cool self-driving city cars, and the holographic ads though.

Also, I thought there were pacing problems; it lulled at points and there were too many shots of the precogs writhing in that semen tank. And, i must have missed something here, but why was the black-market surgeon so nice to Cruise. He had the man that got him ass raped right where he wanted him and he… makes him a sandwich?

All in all I was disappointed. Not nearly as epically bad as A.I. but not the masterpiece it was purported to be.

Can I use that as my sig? :slight_smile:

Near the end, Cruise’s ex-wife threatens the jailkeeper with a gun to get him to release Cruise. By that time the pre-cogs were back and working, so why would he have felt threatened? If she tried to kill him, they would have stopped her.

Also, did they ever mention why Cruise’s character had a real gun in the first place? On the HBO making-of special, they made a big point about how all the weapons the police used were non-lethal, since if you’re trying to prevent murder, it doesn’t help to have the police kill people. But the main character has a real gun from somewhere???

Uh…well, so much for me wanting to see Vanilla Sky. I didn’t infer from the Spoiler tag in the title that I’d get spoilers from different movies, ya know. :mad:

I liked the movie, but I had a big problem with this, which I see hasn’t been mentioned yet:

Why in the hell would Anderton’s eyes still grant him access to any place he wants? Shouldn’t they have immediately revoked his clearance the minute he became a target of this manhunt? What about after he broke in to the Temple - after that obvious breach of security, they still don’t revoke his security clearance? And what about at the end - he’s already been placed in the halo ferchrissakes, but they never scanned his fake eyes before putting him in there? Or if they did and didn’t care, they still didn’t revoke his security clearance on the old pair? That bothered me all through the movie.

Another thing that really bothered me was cainxinth’s point - why was the doctor so nice? Or put another way, why even introduce that this doctor was put away by Anderton, and then not have the doctor be cruel to him? I kept waiting for that to pay off, and it never did…

His security clearance never being revoked bothered me too. I also wondered how eyeballs in a baggie which have been dead for days and are probably starting to decompose still scan into the system just fine. The system can detect scar tissue from an iris transplant, but it can’t detect that the eyes are no longer alive or part of a face?

I was also bothered by the obligatory non-OSHA compliant automated factory. Modern automated assembly systems have guards and light curtains in place to prevent anyone from getting into the machine workspaces without triggering a shutdown. And even if the factory was designed to operate with no human assistance or overseeing, there should have been as a matter of law and common sense emergency stop buttons on the lines. If nothing else, the laser-welding robot that Tom Cruise’s character grabbed should have gone into safe mode when it felt a large, unexpected force on it’s end tool. This is a personal pet peeve of mine - I used to work as a industrial controls/automated machine guy, and I would have been fired if I’d designed a factory like that.

It’s also a good thing that the car he was trapped in was assembled witha full gas tank(or fuel cell, or batteries, or whatever), and keys already in the ignition.

The idea about the last 20 minutes being an illusion is very interesting and would mesh very well with general Dickian themes about the nature of reality.

It would also explain why the last 20 minutes are different in tone from the rest of the film and in fact it would redeem the ending which was the weakest part of the film.

Still even if this interpretation is true the film-makers should have given a bigger hint of what they were going for.

Anyone catch anything else supports Zuma’s theory?

I just thought of another question: The spiders opened up his left eye to scan it before he was supposed to remove the bandages - does that mean he was blind in that eye for the rest of the movie?