Philip K. Dick wrote a short story set in a future where the police don’t solve crime, they stop it before it happens. See, there are some things called ‘pre-cogs’, who are people who are in a tank and plugged in to some machine. They can see into the future and every so often, they will inform about a crime. The Precrime squad then go and catch the criminal before they can commit the crime. The world is a great place. Only then Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) discovers that he has been seen committing a murder and goes on the run.
It’s a great science fiction premise. It’s a fabulous cast. Tom Cruise gets to run a lot which is always ace. And just when you think it is going one palce, it ends up somewhere else. I really, really like this film. Really.
Minority Report was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Editing.
For years, I had heard of what an amazing author Phillip K. Dick is. I knew his stories were the basis of several films – We Can Remember It For You Wholesale became Total Recall, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep became Bladerunner, and Minority Report became, oddly enough, Minority Report. I got the collection of short stories because I wanted to see which of the Total Recalls were closest to the original story. Neither really – but you can read about that here, if you want to.
I was pretty disappointed with We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. I felt that the writing was clunky and the story didn’t quite go where I wanted it to, but perhaps that was the influence of the films. As I had the book, I decided to read the rest, and I think I get the appeal of Phillip K Dick. Sure, some of the stories are a bit patchy and feel somewhat rushed, but they are compelling. I was totally sucked in, and soon stopped paying attention to sentences that I didn’t like or characters that I felt were underdeveloped – there was enough in the stories themselves to keep me totally drawn in.
My favourite of all was Minority Report. I cannot recall how close the film adaptation is, and I am now keen to watch it again, but the story is crazy with action and intrigue.
I think the next step in my Phillip K Dick journey will have to be a novel. Any recommendations, please, let me know.