Do you ever read or watch science fiction? Have you ever had your mind blown at some plot twist or big reveal? Has a story ever made you think about things in this world in a new and different way?
Oblivion is a film that really wants to have this kind of impact on you but doesn’t. That’s not to say that it’s a bad movie just that while it is good, or rather pretty okay, it isn’t great.
Tom Cruise stars and Jack Harper, one of the last people on Earth after it was ruined 60 years prior by a war with an invading alien army. He is there to maintain security drones that stop remaining aliens on the planet from tampering with the massive machines that are harvesting what’s left of Earth’s resources to support the colony of survivors on Titan. Andrea Riseborough is Victoria, his flight control. Melissa Leo is their controller who lives in the massive space station orbiting the world.
This is science fiction though so of course nothing is as it seems. I’m not going to spoil anything but what I will say is that if you’ve watched or read any scifi or fantasy of any quality in your life than nothing in Oblivion is going to be a surprise. A lot of the twists and turns are well executed, it’s just that they are such well trodden paths that your reaction will likely be “well of course” rather than the “HOLY SHIT” that director/co-writer Joseph Kosinski wants you to have.
Kosinski has said that Oblivion is an homage to SciFi of the 1970s which explains not only most of the plot points but how some of them are approached.
Tom Cruise is Tom across in this movie and since there aren’t s many action sequences as you might expect he does actually have to act in most of the scenes. Too bad he’s definitely brought his B game here: just good enough to remember he can be good but not actually that good..
I will say though that the film is beautiful to look at. Say what you will about Kosinski but the man knows how to craft an aesthetic and he’s adept working with effects. The design of everything in the movie is great also especially the drones which manage to have personality; not something easily accomplished by floating white spheres.
The soundtrack was written by M83 and while the music is pretty great it does tend to be a bit overbearing. I hope that M83 do more movie music but they do need to learn that the music needs to compliment the scenes, not beat the audience over their heads yelling “THIS IS THE EMOTION YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO FEEL RIGHT NOW AND YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL IT SO HARD!”
And that’s really the movie right there: nothing about it is great except the way it looks. The plot is derivative and predictable and the whole thing is gorgeous but a bit boring,
Rating = 6/10