Back in 2002, Steven Spielberg brought the futuristic world of Philip K. Dick’s short story The Minority Report to the big screen. While it didn’t quite take off like Blade Runner–another film adaptation of Dick’s work–Minority Report, along with 2002’s Equilibrium, remains a favorite for fans of the dystopian thriller genre. That being said, when it was revealed last year that Spielberg would be producing a follow-up television series alongside Max Borenstein (who wrote the screenplay for Godzilla) a whole 13 years after the original film’s debut, people were a little hesitant, and rightly so. Considering the amount of time that’s passed, it was hard to imagine how the world of the pre-cogs would translate to a weekly series. And although the fascinating tech and the possible conspiracy bubbling beneath the surface make the show fun to watch, the predictably tired buddy-cop formula implemented gets in the way of what could be a great show.
Minority Report picks up in 2065 Washington D.C., a decade after the film’s events. With PreCrime a thing of the past, the city has plunged head first into violence, forcing officers to investigate without the aid of precognition–that is until the series’ protagonist Dash (Stark Sands) resurfaces and reaches out to homicide detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good). As one of the precogs, Dash is cursed with the ability to see flashes of a crime before it happens, which is only made complete by his twin brother Arthur (Nick Zano), and their older sister Agatha (Laura Reagan). With his siblings pursuing their own lives away from the milk bath, Dash is left alone on his quest to save his fellow citizens from destruction.
From the get-go, we see the weakest of the three struggle but ultimately fail to stop tragic events from occurring. Dash’s feeling of desperation at the beginning of the episode is almost palpable as he realizes, along with the audience, that he missed a key detail and ended up at the wrong location. Before he has time to make it down the street to the other building, a woman plummets to her death while he has his back turned. It’s clear this isn’t the first time this has happened because he sighs and walks away. When he sees Vega leave the scene later on after investigating and finding the victim’s daughter, Dash decides to tail her and offer up a sketch of the criminal. The duo team up pretty quickly, but are keeping their connection on the low for now (for obvious reasons).
When we first meet Vega, we get to see the show’s 2065 tech-based police work in action. Aside from the silly waving around she does during the episode, it was cool to see her character utilize specialized contacts to analyze the crime scene. With it, she was able to both discern where the struggle took place and come to the realization that the victim let it happen because she was protecting her daughter. There are several other futuristic features that pop up around town including targeted ads, some sort of selfie device (of course), and another eye-based implant that functions as a teleprompter. Although some are a bit cliché, the creativity of others are complemented by the stunning execution of the show’s visual effects.
The acting is decent for the most part, with Good excelling in the role of Vega, but other members of the cast like Wilmer Valderrama fall flat, feeling like a half-baked addition used only as a filler. Though it’s not terrible, the dialogue doesn’t do much aside from offering a few pop culture references to things like The Simpsons, Tinder, and (for some reason) Iggy Azalea. Dash and Vega thankfully have a fair bit of chemistry that will hopefully develop as the season progresses.
Where the show shines, however, is with the story. The most interesting thing about the post precog world was seeing the repercussions of Precrime arrests. Many were psychologically affected, driven mad by being put away for something they didn’t do. We also learn more about the precognitive siblings through flashbacks to their troubled childhood. Instead of opting to only tell Dash’s story, we get to see his brother and sister during the pilot episode as well. Though it is glaringly obvious that his twin is going to cause trouble later on, his older sister’s warning about getting involved with law enforcement is foreboding. I’m assuming (and hoping) that there is more that meets the eye beneath the surface.
When it comes down to it, the show isn’t bad but isn’t of the same caliber as the original film. It is definitely a fun watch for those who are into procedural crime dramas or the futuristic setting, but may prove disappointing for those who’re tired of the genre. The show does have the potential to impress later, but it’s hard to tell at the moment without knowing where the plot is headed.
What did you think of Minority Report? Are you on board with the show? Let us know in the comments below.