Oblivion: My Review
I picked up the latest Science-Fiction epic Oblivion. Sometimes I get a little worried buying a movie sight unseen but this time it certainly did not disappoint! The movie stars Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman and was directed by Joseph Kosinski and based on his graphic novel of the same name. The movie is one of the apocalyptic films which displays the planet earth after it has been destroyed by aliens.
I have decided this will be a spoiler free review because I think this is a movie you really need to see for yourself and to see it unfold before you. I will give a basic synopsis of the plot. It is the year 2077, 60 years after earth was invaded by aliens. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his partner Victoria “Vika” Owen, played by the beautiful Andrea Riseborough, are the only ones on after the invasion and they are there to repair drones that are fighting off the residual alien resistance. The surviving inhabitants of earth are living on Titan one of the moons of Saturn. Harper meets up with Malcolm Beech a resistance fighter played by the legendary Morgan Freeman (one of my very favorite actors) and he also begins to have flash backs to a time he was with a woman on the Empire State Building prior to the alien invasion. Things begin to unravel and we begin to see that appearances can be deceptive.
Pros: The cinematography and special effects are stellar. This movie is great eye candy but you do not get an overdose of it. The acting is great and two of my favorites, Cruise and Freeman, are in this film and do a fine job. This is my first time seeing Andrea Riseborough and I enjoyed her performance. She portrays a sense of vulnerability while also wanting to stay in denial concerning the things Jack is discovering. I do like the story. Some of the criticisms I have read that there are plot elements that we have seen in other movies. While I can agree with that assessment, I can also see that this is common in Hollywood movies. I am fine with movies that may have similar plot elements to other movies as long as it is executed well and that is the case with this movie. I also enjoy the story. The movie mixes romance, mystery and action adventure into a tale that will keep the viewer engaged and caring about all the characters throughout. Despite great special effects this is a very character driven movie.
Cons: I really have only one minor complaint. Director Kosinski wanted this movie to be an homage to the science fiction films of the 70s and in many way he succeeds in that endeavor. The movie is paced more like a film from the 70s and it is slower than the more kinetic pacing we modern viewers and grown accustomed to. Is that a fault of the directors or is it a fault of the viewer? I will place blame on myself. We live in a fast paced mircowave society that wants instant gratification. So it was hard to slow down and get absorbed into the story. I just wasn’t used to it. So really this is not a con, it is just something that the viewer needs to be aware of when going in to the movie. It is an old-fashioned movie and as I think more on the pacing it really does work even though some viewers might not be used to it.
This movie does have some good re watch capabilities for me. As a mystery there are clues throughout the movie and on more than one viewing you can pick up on these clues. In an era where science fiction films that are heavy with CGI they are like cotton candy for the mind. This one is not. It will make you think and keep you on your toes.