Oblivion

I’m no professional so unfortunately I don’t have the privilege of seeing early screenings of the newest flicks. So like everyone else I have to wait. So here is my belated review of the new Tom Cruise movie Oblivion. The movie takes place in a post apocalyptic world that was ravaged by the destruction of the moon and followed by an alien invasion. Blowing up the moon should have been enough, to pretty much destroy all humans. Well the earth men did what any group of Survivors of a horrendous cataclysm would do they dropped nukes on the offending Aliens, making the earth even more uninhabitable and thus winning a pyrrhic victory. This is the story that is revealed to us in the opening narration, by the main character Jack, a humble drone repairman. The drones were supposedly designed to take out pockets of alien invaders still roaming the planet.

Jack and his curvy tech support vicky, are biding their time while awaiting the end of their three year tour on earth. In two weeks they are due to join the rest of humanity on Triton, a totally unsuitable ice ball with Cryovolcanos and nitrogen spewing geysers. Why not Europa or Mars? This doesn’t seem to bother Jack or Vicky, nor does the fact that a decimated race that teeters on the edge of extinction, could muster the resources and manpower to build a giant space station.

Although the earth is supposedly too toxic for habitation Jack manages to find a hidey hole surrounded by mountains and greenery with his own private fishing pond out back. He goes there when he wants to get away and shoots baskets, reads books and listens to old albums on his phonograph.

Obviously the movie is called Oblivion, because Jack is totally oblivious to the evidence all around him, that suggest that Earth is not the unlivable radio active wasteland, that he has been led to believe. The rest of the movie after the intro focuses on Jacks journey of discovery, learning the truth and the meaning behind his recurring dreams about a beautiful mystery woman, (Olga Kurylenko). Poor Vicky doesn’t stand a chance. Jack is more or less an unquestioning tool of his masters; he doesn’t even question the reasons for his memory wipe, which is suspicious on every level. That’s all I’m going to reveal about the plot. You’ll have to see it for yourself if you haven’t already.

You can probably tell by the tone of my synopsis, that I didn’t find Oblivion as entertaining as the trailers had led me to believe it was. I can usually tell if a movie is going to be bad within the first fifteen minutes. However  the premise of this movie was interesting enough to make me believe that the best was yet to come. Oh, how wrong I was! It dragged on and on with the annoyingly perky Boss Sally, asking the same question in scene after scene, “Are we and effective team?” The answer should have been. “Are you an annoying jerk?”

There is some superfluous nudity and male female bonding and no backstory until toward the end of the movie. I found the pacing slow and the scenes in between the action boring, and the plot full of logic holes and inconsistencies. One of the biggest inconsistencies was the fact that in one scene the drones seemed fairly easy to take down; which was the reason for his constant repair jobs. while in others they were almost indestructible. The same could be said about Jack; he takes a forty foot fall onto a hard surface and doesn’t die or get knocked unconscious, but can’t take a hit from a rifle butt that wasn’t meant to kill. Why did they even need to hit him anyway? Actually either one should have killed him or at least given him a fractured skull.

When Jack finally comes face to face with his dream girl she is hesitant to tell him the purpose of the mission which he was a part of . Get real they were on the same mission! So why was she hesitant to tell him the truth? They should have been exchanging stories just out of curiosity,  and we would have gotten to the truth of the matter sooner rather than later. I hate it when movies try to be suspenseful and do it so awkwardly ; this was that kind of movie.

The best thing about this movie wasn’t Tom Cruise; it was Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko and Nicholaj Coster-Waldau, who should have had a bigger part, rather than wasting time watching Tom Cruise shoot baskets and look wistful, while listening to Procol Harum. I guess that it’s normal in Cruise land that everyone else is relegated to minor significance.

On the upside the movie was beautifully shot, and the special effects were excellent. The set designs were reminiscent  of the Jetsons but were very cool. Over all I’d give this movie a C- Since I didn’t get up and leave the theater grumbling to myself.

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