Excerpt: Plot-wise, Earth is barren and largely uninhabitable following a nuclear war to repel invading aliens. Cruise plays Tech 49, Jack Harper, whose memory has been wiped and presumably reprogrammed so he can form an “effective team” with his workmate Victoria (who looks and acts like a Dana Scully robot with a British accent) in order to repair drones whose sole job is to blow the holy living crap out of Scavs, ostensibly the remnants of the defeated alien invasion force.
Excerpt: I’ve got to hand it to Tom Cruise. The guy has done the unthinkable and made it work for him. A high school dropout, a would be Catholic priest and he’s been arguably the biggest movie star in the world for the past three decades. To his credit, he does have good looks, has aged incredibly well (he’s now over 50 years old) and has been very fortunate. Still, for someone who hasn’t had to worry about money since Reagan was in office, clearly he’s doing what he loves.
Excerpt: Alien invasion causes Earth’s devastating downfall, and Morgan Freeman survives. Clearly, our species is saved. Freeman is a mystery, a cloaked enigma named Beech who resides in deep underground shadows, away from peering eyes. Earth’s surface is ruled, unknowingly, by Jack (Tom Cruise), repairman of defense drones buzzing around sea water capture devices.
Conclusion: Oblivion is more complicated than complex. It’s a big budget action flick that wasn’t at all what I expected. Whenever a movie isn’t what I expected I realize that it takes a while for me to appreciate it for what it is. I love a good sci-fi flick and this movie is visually impressive with comparable audio quality to match.
Excerpt: Warning: This review contains spoilers. Consider yourself warned. As written and directed by Joseph Kosinski (of Tron Legacy fame), Oblivion is a fascinating, frustrating science fiction film – in fact, one of the most fascinating and frustrating in recent memory.
Excerpt: The Film A lot of people hate Tom Cruise with a passion. For some, his couch-jumping antics (which happened eight years ago, by the way) pale in comparison to his Scientology beliefs. Guess what though? The guy sure knows how to make entertaining movies. Scoff if you want, but Cruise did pretty well with 2012's Jack Reacher . Now, his lone movie for 2013 is the sci-fi spectable Oblivion .
Conclusion: For something that didn't really win over moviegoers, critics, or even the studio that released it, Oblivion is surprisingly good science fiction. Well-made and well-told, this consistently engaging futuristic adventure is also well worth your time and should be a priority on your 2013 Movies to See list.
Conclusion: Oblivion suffers from too many competing elements, an overcrowded screenplay, and underdeveloped ideas. To swipe a line, "we are not an effective team." And yet the film and its young director have high aspirations, many of which pay off. The production design is outstanding. The world, its invaders and some of the paths the story follows are absorbing. And the cast gives their all, even when the script is lacking.
Conclusion: Science fiction aficionados may find pieces of Oblivion familiar, but Director Joseph Kosinski intentionally created a film that pays tribute to earlier sci-fi classics. Tom Cruise plays Tech 49, a drone repairman left nearly alone on an abandoned Earth, and delivers another impressive performance. The film's visual effects and cinematography are excellent, and any story hiccups are overcome by the intriguing finale and fluid action. . What Do You Think?
Conclusion: 'Oblivion' does indeed borrow a lot of its plot and twists from other sci-fi movies, but its look is wholly original. Kosinski has a keen eye for putting together a visually lush film. Cruise does exactly what he does almost every time he's asked to lead a film; he nails it. I found 'Oblivion' exciting, beautiful, and rewatchable, which is a lot more than I can say about many of this year's summer films. It comes highly recommended on all fronts.