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.
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' 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.
Excerpt: It's apparent now, after two similarly pristine and vacuous productions, that Joseph Kosinski makes films as if he were building IKEA furniture: He follows a simple template, allen-keys the requisite pieces into place, and at the end of the process winds up with something both blandly functional and broadly appealing.
Oblivion – It’s the End of the World As We Know It!
18 April 2013
Excerpt: Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion is a big movie that takes some familiar ideas and combines and reshapes them in interesting ways. It is a film with breathtaking visuals, epic themes and intimate moments in combination with some unique action sequences. It is also a film that requires its audience to pay attention – at, more so than most end of the world movies.
Excerpt: For speculative-fiction fans, the least interesting part of any modern science-fiction movie is its final act. The opening of films like Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion tend to be about world-building, about creating a future and establishing its rules. The second act lets the characters explore and make significant decisions. But like Leo Tolstoy’s happy families, science-fiction movie endings tend to all be alike, a big pileup of chases and explosions.