Oblivion (2013)

two-stars

Tom Cruise really isn’t my favorite. Although he does do some things right from time to time.

Welcome to Earth: 2077. I’m not spoiling much, because we find out Earth was ravaged by nuclear attack, leaving behind nothing but an unrecognizable, desolate wasteland. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) works as a security repairman of sorts, living with Vika (Andrea Riseborough) his wife, girlfriend, roommate, I’m not really sure. Essentially, they are tasked with the duty of repairing and performing maintenance on defense drones within the safe radiation zone. These drones defend several giant rig machines that harvest water or something to help store fuel for the future of mankind, which has all apparently moved off to Saturn’s moon, Titan.

Besides the unsympathetic and hollow defense drones, Jack and Vika are alone on Earth, or are they? The nuclear holocaust took place because a species of alien attacked Earth, called scavengers (or scavs). Sally (Melissa Leo) guides Jack and Vika through a holo-device, directing them on how to go about protecting the rigs on a day to day basis. Sally supposedly lives on an orbiting space-cube of sorts, called the Tet. Therein lives most of humanity that hasn’t already left for Titan.

I’m sure you are already lost reading my synopsis, and rightfully so, as it’s a maze of a plot. Being a science fiction film, the maze only develops more twists and turns as we progress, until everything that we once knew as fact is no longer such.

I haven’t seen director Joseph Kosinski’s “Tron: Legacy” so I’m not exactly sure if he intentionally likes to provide social commentary in his films without resolution on purpose. It’s hard to not give away much by saying so, but there is a certain level of subtle (or maybe blatant) discussion here about our environment, and the rate at which the filmmakers believe we are destroying it. At another point, we are in a pristine, well-kept futuristic building, where Jack stands, covered in soot and dirt, a man who used to believe lies, now knowing the truth. A clean, spotless woman stands before him. The juxtaposition is clear, but at some point we are left wondering what it means. And it’s not a moment where we actually want to know what it means either.

The casting of Morgan Freeman as Beech seems to have been a wasted opportunity. Freeman doesn’t have hardly any screen time, and the film’s trailer gives him much more credit than is due; can I legally say such a thing about Morgan Freeman?

Also, despite a few somewhat painful monologues with Jack raging about some ancient football game, or some classic literature, Cruise is truly in great form here.

The highlight of “Oblivion” is in the soundtrack. If you are at all familiar with the electronic band M83, then “Oblivion” is sure to be a treat. The recurring theme from the film follows the aptly titled single, “Oblivion”.

“Oblivion” is a fun science fiction thriller, with plenty of excitement and a fantastic soundtrack. Hollywood is falling deeply in love with post-apocalyptia these days, and being fan of it myself, I can’t complain.

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2 thoughts on “Oblivion (2013)

  1. Pingback: Review: Oblivion | Nameless Horror

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