Oblivion seems oddly familiar
Oblivion is set in the year 2077, Earth is a wasteland after the big invasion of 2017. Tom Cruise plays Jack Carter – Tech 49 what he believes is one of only 2 humans still on earth. He’s basically a futuristic mechanic who spends his days repairing drones and trying to stop the Scavs, aliens from the big war that are still around that basically steal and destroy stuff. He’s supposed to be living this life for 2 more weeks along with his girlfriend and mission partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) All he needs to do is go about business repairing drones and making sure the huge machines that are sucking up the earth’s water to be converted for the rest of the humans who will live on Titan. Jack and Victoria take orders from Sally played by Melissa Leo with this strangely strong Texas accent beyond comprehension. She’s at mission control a big V shaped block that floats above the earth. Jack is haunted by inexplicable dreams of events he shouldn’t remember because they happened before he was born, a woman he can’t get out of his mind and his curiosity that gets the better of him. Sound oddly familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Its because you’ve seen pretty much every element of Oblivion before in another film.
Oblivion is a mashup of all the most popular sci-fi films. You know how they say Hollywood likes to borrow from its past will they borrow not take everything. This movie feels like a drink recipe. Pour in The Matrix, add a bit of Star Wars, a jigger of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a splash of Gattaca, stir in Tom Cruise and pour into a Planet of the Apes glass. Here’s why it’s a problem. Movies like the Expendales borrow from the stars personas and previous films as more of a parody while this seemed to be the core building block and they had to be thinking imitation is the highest form of flattery which really its not. It takes itself too seriously for that.
I saw Obilvion in IMAX and its visually stunning, the chase seen though what’s not a canyon near the Brooklyn Bridge look great. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a ride at Universal Studios based on this in a few years. The film style and look is truly good.
Tom Cruise is in his element ie he runs a lot from place to place. Whenever he’s in close proximity of Olga Kurylenko who plays Julia she looks shorter than him. When he rescues Julia from a downed wreckage as the only survivor and she’s the woman from his dreams you start getting really predictable here. Morgan Freeman doesn’t even show up till 58 minutes into the film. Don’t get too used to him though he’s barely in this movie but you know who is in it and i had no idea Jamie Lannister!!
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Sykes 2nd in command to Freeman’s Beech the leader of the Scavs who its no surprise are what Jack thought were the leftover aliens but are instead humans who have been hunted by the drones. The Scavs also make you scream Predator at the screen. I’m almost positive Oblivion would make a marvelous drinking game.
I didn’t hate Oblivion in fact I laughed quite a bit while watching it. I’m sure it’s not supposed to be that funny but you get into the point of what else did they borrow from. The redeeming quality for me was of all the planned but predictable twists there was one I didn’t see coming. I won’t spoil it for you but it happens when Jack and Julia while running from and fighting the drones decide to cross into the radiation zone. While not full of plotholes they drop a nice crater sized one on you at the very end, making you wonder if it wasn’t Tom Cruise’s idea for this ending.
My rating: Redbox
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: April 19th, 2013
Run time: 2 hours 6 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13