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'Minority Report' review: Nifty special effects, but not much more

From left, Daniel London as Wally and Stark

From left, Daniel London as Wally and Stark Sands as Dash in "Minority Report" airing Monday, Sep. 21 at 9 p.m. on FOX. Credit: FOX

THE SERIES "Minority Report"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday night at 9 on Fox/5

WHAT IT'S ABOUT In the year 2040, the authorities have finally released the three "pre-cogs" from their long confinement. What's a "pre-cog," you ask? They are pre-cognitive, and can see the future -- specifically when and where a murder is going to be committed. As kids, Dash (Stark Sands); his bro, Arthur (Nick Zano); and sister, Agatha (Laura Regan), were placed in suspended animation, their collective murder visions used to help the cops stop murders before they happened.

After release, as adults, they have to make their own way in the world. And then, Dash meets an ambitious detective, Lara Vega (Meagan Good), who has a devious boss, Will Blake (Wilmer Valderrama). This show is based on the 2002 Tom Cruise movie directed by Steven Spielberg.

MY SAY What's good about tonight's pilot is pretty much what has to be good -- the special effects. Like the movie, they float, twirl, pixelate and dissolve at the wave of a hand. This promises to be a series full of high-tech trompe l'oeils, and promises a future full of them as well. An Apple Watch that flies and (naturally) replaces the selfie stick? Contact lenses that come with a camera, browser and supercomputer? Google, eat your heart out.

The flying machine -- the one that looked like a giant hair-dryer in the movie and got Cruise's character around Washington in a jiff -- is not here. But Vega has her own toys. Those include flying "eyeballs" similar to the ones in the 2012 sci-fi movie "Prometheus" -- they see everything and everyone.

Then -- sigh -- there's the cast of characters. They each have the emotional resonance of a hologram, and "Minority Report" already has plenty of those. Vega wants to fight crime because of a tragedy in her past. Dash wants the one thing he can't have -- knowledge of his own future. Arthur and Agatha flit through the pilot, barely registering.

In fact, no one registers. They're all line drawings in service to some very nice special effects and a pilot that's already tangled up in way too many plot tangents.


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