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Comic Con 2015 TV Pilot Review: Minority Report

PLOT: Years after the shutdown of the Precrime program, precog Dash teams up with a streetwise cop to once again stop criminal activity before it happens. 

 
REVIEW: Television's unending quest to capitalize on name recognition and adapt as many movies as possible has brought us to this: a TV sequel series to 2002's MINORITY REPORT. While this idea had potential, Fox has taken everything that was cool about Steven Spielberg's sci-fi film and turned it in to a bland, run of the mill cop show.
 
Aside from the futuristic setting, Minority Report: The Show doesn't look or feel any different from the constant onslaught of high-concept police procedurals. Hell, there already plenty of shows about psychic (and fake psychic) detectives already on TV. And whatever qualities the premise does have that set it apart are not used to much effect. Remember the part of MINORITY REPORT where Tom Cruise steals Samantha Morton's Agatha and goes on the run as the precog uses her abilities to help him creatively avoid capture? That kind of intrigue or excitement is nowhere to be found in this pilot. Mainly because the protagonist Dash is the weakest of the three precogs, so his abilities are comparatively weak when it comes to seeing the future. (Lucky for him, the central vision in the first episode involves a mayoral candidate whose name and face are plastered everywhere.) It's essentially 42 minutes of watching a guy who's not very good at his job.  

Dash is easily the weakest part of the show and sadly he's the focus. When we meet him, he's spent the last decade attempting to acclimate to society and in his spare time trying to use his gifts to prevent people from dying. Without much success as we see in the opening moments where he tries to preemptively stop a jumper from committing suicide, but accidentally goes to the building across the street. Obviously for a weekly show, characters need room to grow but Dash's ineffectiveness in the pilot comes off worse thanks to actor Stark Sands' childlike portrayal. Sands' was fine as soldier-singer Troy Nelson in the Coen Bros.' INSIDE LLEYWN DAVIS, but he just doesn't feel like the right fit to carry a show like this. Dash is emotionally stunted and socially inept and Sands' plays it for humor, coming off goofy at best. It doesn't help that the script gives him terrible narration to work with: "My future is the one thing I can't see. But I'm still haunted by everyone else's." Or truly laughable dialogue:

Dash: "Can you see?
Lara: "See what?"
Dash: "Muuuurder."

 
ANCHORMAN 2's Meagan Good at least fares better as a stereotypically tough lady cop named Lara, who's spent her time trying to recapture all the murderers set free after Precrime was shut down at the end of the movie. When she spots Dash creeping at her crime scenes and finds his notebook full of murder drawings, instead of arresting him, she decides they should team up to stop future crime. The script paints Lara in the most predictable of strokes (a single mom too committed to her job to date), but the charismatic Good is still the most watchable part of Minority Report's first episode. The supporting cast includes That 70's Show's Wilmer Valderrama in a completely unnecessary role as Lara's slightly rapey partner, and a cameo by Dash's sister Agatha (not Samantha Morton), who shows up to warn Dash that she can see his future and it's not good. Dun dun duuuun! Actor Nick Zano has since been cast as the third precog sibling, but he's not seen in this version of the pilot.)
 
The Minority Report pilot has a quick pace and thankfully never drags, but it's also never as engaging or interesting as it could be. Part of that is the cheap TV budget future setting, which is full of lame ideas like selfie drones and eye-rolling pop culture gags like Lara's mom talking about meeting her dad on Tinder or references to the more politically correct Washington Redclouds. And since they couldn't afford rocket packs for all the police officers, the cops in this future now travel via super boring ziplines. But if you want a real example of how unexciting Minority Report can be, the show's climactic showdown involves a killer pigeon terrorizing a crowd at a political rally. No joke.

Is there hope that this could get better as it goes along? Sure. It's not a bad premise for a television show. Fox just needs better ideas, more imaginative scripts and a bigger budget to take advantage of the world Spielberg so masterfully set up. However, as it sits now, you're better off rewatching the movie. 
 

Extra Tidbit: The most accurate future prediction in the pilot? The Simpsons still going strong after 75 seasons.
Source: JoBlo.com

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