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HomeCruiseTom Cruise’s Sci-Fi Hoverpack Scene in Minority Report Was Surprisingly Real

Tom Cruise’s Sci-Fi Hoverpack Scene in Minority Report Was Surprisingly Real

Minority Report’s Sci-Fi Hoverpack Scene Was Surprisingly Real (And Dangerous)
“Minority Report” was shot before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, but you wouldn’t know it. Director Steven Spielberg’s 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1956 sci-fi novella “The Minority Report” plays almost like a direct response to the post-9/11 War on Terror, in particular the Bush doctrine of preemptive strikes. Set in a version of 2054 where three psychics known as “precogs” are used to locate and arrest people before they commit murder, “Minority Report” wrestles with the concept of free will, in the process raising big questions about due process and profiling. Even the movie’s “happy” ending leaves some room for uncertainty about what’s to come in the future.
At the same time, “Minority Report” is a blast and a half. Amidst its many weird, creepy moments and noir mystery plot, Spielberg serves up some of the most whiz-bang action scenes he’s ever directed. From a bare-knuckle brawl in the middle of a car factory assembly line to a foot chase across a vertical highway of automated vehicles, it’s off to the races once our protagonist, John Anderton (Tom Cruise), is accused of being destined to become one of the very murderers he’s supposed to be thwarting and goes on the lam. This is Spielberg making his version of an Alfred Hitchcock man-on-the-run thriller, and he excels at it.
One particularly standout sequence finds John cornered in a street alley by several officers in hoverpacks, which he proceeds to either commandeer or use against them. Obviously, there’s CGI in play, but for the most part, the sequence relies on old-school practical trickery to send people flying through the air, swinging around fire escapes, or crashing through apartment walls and ceilings. It wasn’t quite as dangerous to pull off as it looks, but it was more than a little risky nonetheless.

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