Oblivion – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

oblOblivion – 3.5/5 – Here we have, another Tom Cruise film.  Yes, the man of many faces, and in many places, has struck again on the big screen.  This time, he strikes in the form of Sci-Fi.  Take that in; a Sci-Fi genre film with Tom Cruise.  In his catalog, two films come to mind when speaking of Sci-Fi: War of the Worlds and Minority Report.  Both were good films, partly because of the story and leveling of Cruise’s star power.  Here, Oblivion falls into this category.  With a decent but predictable premise and the star power of Tom Cruise, you get a slow but thrilling Sci-Fi film epic that will seem familiar, but is thankfully entertaining.

Premise:  One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, which was devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft while on duty.  Within this spacecraft, it brings into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

In the main roles of the drone repair crew, you have Tom Cruise as Jack and Andrea Riseborough as Victoria.  Together, they form the team that is repairing the drones as well as tasked to take out any remaining alien invaders on the ground.  As Jack, Tom Cruise is nothing less than amazing in this role.  As always, he brings charm, pizzazz and skill as an actor.  As Jack, he commands every scene; especially when majority of the film he is left alone traveling the deserted Earth.  His interaction with other characters in the movie helps brings a connective depth to these relationships, especially with Victoria.  As Victoria, Andrea provides a woman with stern qualities, who doesn’t back away from the protocol.  Underneath it, she still has a burning desire as a human when she is around Jack.  Their relationship is both believable and forced.  The forced aspect is majority related to the script, but it doesn’t hurt the film.  For the supporting cast, you have the woman saved from the spacecraft, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), another human survivor in Beech (Morgan Freeman) and some resistance, with one as the leader (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).  In these roles, they are more than just one-dimensional characters, helping provide simple quality to their characters.  The downfall is with a lack of screen time, they are severely underused, especially for Julia sense there is a past connection between her and Jack.

When it comes to the direction and script, it is a fairly mixed bag of simplistic storytelling versus an epic grandeur of a Sci-Fi epic.  From the beginning, you are introduced to the events after the War on Earth.  Set in the year 2077, a crew of two people (Jack and Victoria) is stationed on Earth to repair drones and protect the vessels that are supposedly used to fuel the human’s new home on Titan.  This is where the film has that slight feel of mystery in the story, combined with the Sci-Fi elements.  It is explained that the Humans won the war, but had to leave earth because of the devastation.  Why did they have to leave Earth, and why is there a skeleton of a crew left to protect the vessels on Earth that converts fuel?  Within these first few minutes of these questions, you will figure out the twists in the film.  Not going to spoil the twist, but for majority of the audience, you will see it coming.  From here, you follow Jack as he goes about his mundane task of repairing and scouring the Earth, as the simple script probes along this grandiose of a film.  This cause you to become somewhat attached, but not full encapsulated in the film.  Once Jack comes across the spacecraft of human survivors that has hit the ground, Jack meets a woman named Julia.  This is when the story’s premise starts to unravel.  Jack has some history with this woman, the Scav aliens aren’t who you think them to be, and everything Jack has believed about his job is a lie.  What you guessed as the twist becomes true, and the film falls into a standard Sci-Fi theme of ‘battle for humanity’ against the real aliens.  In this, you get some decent action scenes combined with intuitive storytelling.  The script is witty, but straight to the point, with the scope of it explaining what happen, the purpose of the invasion, and what must be done to end the threat.  Along the way, one more twist happens, and the films layers begin to peel faster.  This makes the mundane first half have a real importance, as all the setup is fulfilled in the second half.  Once the climax hits, it is both grand and emotional.  The grip of the emotion is not as strong as it should be, since there are a lot of predictable plot threads completing as well as a clichéd ‘love’ angle.  By the end, the film does satisfy the audience journey through this film.

With the visuals, the recreation of a destroyed Earth and the spacecraft’s are amazing.  From the charred remains, to the aging buildings, all the way to the spaceship Jack and Victoria live on, to the Drones, it all feels alive to the viewer’s imagination.  Everything has a ‘vast’ scale to it, bringing a lot of curiosity to the scenes, as well as attentiveness for the audience.  What compliments the visuals very well is the score.  The music drums the beat of the audience’s tension, helping ease the layering of the twists, as well as bring emotional connections to characters that don’t have much depth to begin with.

Overall, Oblivion is a decent Sci-Fi film.  With a lot of elements of usual sci-fi themes, combined with some twist and Tom Cruise’s commanding swagger on screen, this is an entertaining ride.  I’d recommend this film for fans of Sci-Fi and fans of Tom Cruise.  Go see it this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *