One episode was provided prior to broadcast.
First things first: Minority Report is one of my favorite movies of all time. Spielberg’s 2002 film works on every level, and re-watching it as an adult after not seeing it for a few years only confirms something I knew was true when I was twelve that I couldn’t put my finger on: it’s arguably the most structurally sound, tightly plotted and essentially infallible sci-fi “action” movie of the aughts. Fox’s version of Minority Report takes an interesting approach in adapting Spielberg’s world (based on “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick), acting as a sort-of-sequel series but charting off on its own path for the most part.
This is a good idea – an outright reboot would have been hilariously illogical – but what this new Minority Report doesn’t seem to understand is subtlety. The new show largely eschews its progenitor’s wishy-washy science-versus-religion subtext and murky political debates for an hour-long drama format that implants the series’ central concept – seeing murders before they happen – in just about the most banal set-up imaginable: a buddy-cop drama.
The series opens 11 years after Spielberg’s film ended, with Precognitive Dash (Stark Sands) escaping the isolated comfort given to the trio of “Precogs” – including Agatha and Arthur – at the ending of the original film. Without Agatha’s powerful central abilities tying in with Art’s name recognition, Dash is left muddling through hazy footage of pre-crimes in desperate attempts to stop murders before they happen. He fails, until he runs into a cop in Washington, D.C. named Lara Vega (Meagan Good), who reluctantly decides to partner with the Precog to stop what appears to be the attempted assassination of a local politician’s wife. Wilmer Valderrama and Nick Zano round out the main cast, which is a sentence that’s about as sad and unconvincing as it sounds.
All-in-all, using Minority Report‘s essentially psychic mythology as a backbone for a crime procedural isn’t a bad idea. It’s just that Fox’s version is so relentlessly uninspired, especially in comparison to the original (and I hate to keep beating that drum but nothing exists in a vacuum), that even as a mediocre hour of television it doesn’t warrant investing in. The first problem comes in the script from series creator Max Borenstein (he wrote last year’s Godzilla reboot), which trips over itself in creating weird, futuristic terminology – prepare an eye roll for the “selfie drone” – but forgets to give its characters anything actual normal to say.