In another Philip K. Dick adaptation, future cop John Anderton (Tom Cruise) works for the government’s PreCrime department, using the visions of three psychic “precogs” to predict who plans to commit murder, allowing Anderton to arrest suspects before they kill. But when Anderton himself is fingered as a future killer, he goes on the lam, taking one of the precogs with him, to unravel the mystery of his own future.
In Steven Spielberg’s adaptation, the eyes of the state are everywhere – on Anderton’s elegant room-sized screen at the police department (where he gracefully manipulates images with his waving hands, as if it were a giant iPad) to the electronic billboards everywhere that recognize passers-by and try to sell them a personalized list of consumer goods, to the scurrying mini-spycams known as spiders, to a pair of stray eyeballs rolling down a ramp (they’re Anderton’s, surgically swapped out for a pair whose irises the spiders won’t recognize as his). Even in this system, however, the images aren’t always reliable and are subject to manipulation. The PreCrime unit can predict actions (up to a point), but it can’t see into the human soul.
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