|Daniel Keane/Wolf Cadet|
That’s one of the main questions in Minority Report, Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi flick. The film follows John Anderton (a very, very on point Tom Cruise, especially in this week's scene), a detective with the DC police department's “PreCrime” division in the year 2054. The unit operates by using a trio of psychics to predict murders to stop them before they can happen.
When Anderton sees himself supposedly murdering someone in the future - a man by the name of Leo Crow - he goes on the run to prove his innocence before he even commits the crime.
Our scene finds Anderton just after he’s tracked down Crow - mere minutes before his murder is set to happen. But Anderton’s hit by a curve ball - it appears that Crow is the man responsible for the disappearance of Anderton’s long-lost son.
What's great about this film - and any Steven Spielberg movie, really - is that the spectacle is always accompanied by a great human element. Even in Minority Report, a film filled with psychics, flying cars, and futuristic weapons (really it's the most fully realized cinematic future ever), Spielberg's characters deal with humanity's great challenges. Here it's the age-old question of free will versus pre-destination: can Anderton resist the urge to kill Crow and thereby change his own future? Or is he doomed to kill him? It's a tough one. Even if Anderton hadn't had the extra incentive of seeing himself murder Crow, he was as justified as a person could be for wanting to kill someone. But he resisted. But anyway, I'm kind of rambling. It's hard not to when you're talking about this sort of thing.
What's interesting is that you could argue Anderton didn't change much. Crow still dies. Maybe that's the cost of free will?