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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Oblivion

Oblivion

Tom Cruise has adventures on a post-apocalyptic Earth in the new sci-fi epic Oblivion.  Many years ago, an alien force invaded Earth in a war that absolutely decimated the planet.  Humanity has long evacuated to the Saturn moon of Titan and Jack (Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are the only remaining human occupants, while Jack finalizes maintenance of the drones that protect the devices transporting the Earth’s oceans to Titan.

One day, Jack comes across a vessel with human survivors and is shocked when the drones begin to attack them.  He manages to save Julia (Olga Kurylenko) and is equally shocked when she seems to recognize him.  When he subsequently comes across a band of humans lead by Beech (Morgan Freeman), Jack quickly comes to realize that all may not be what it seems when it comes to his mission.

While I overall enjoyed Oblivion, I have to admit that I would have liked it more if I did not know that much about the film going into it.  Everything I gave in the above plot synopsis can be gathered from watching the trailer for the film.  However, it also summarizes about half of the plot.  For much of the first half of the film, Oblivion was much more akin to a serious sci-fi film like Moon.  While it’s obvious that the film was trying to build an air of mystery about Jack’s objectives, it was disrupted by the fact that the film heavily advertised the fact that Morgan Freeman was in the film.  As such, I spent much of this first half just waiting for the moment for him to show up. 

Sadly, Freeman does not appeal until about an hour in the film’s 2 hour+ running time.  While it didn’t deter too much from my overall enjoyment of the film, it is something that I can’t help but nitpick.  That said, I was able to enjoy myself much better in the second half of the film.  Sadly the film abandons much of the serious sci-fi tone about becomes much more of an action film, though there was still some great sci-fi moments, especially in the final act.

The bulk of the film is spent with just Tom Cruise interacting with one or two of characters.  As such, the film definitely benefits from someone of his charisma.  While I would argue that films like Moon or I Am Legend pulls off this sense of isolation a bit better, I did like the little moments of the film, such as Jack describing the final Superbowl or his casual banter with a bobblehead of Elvis.  In fact, it’s almost a shame that this sense of isolation isn’t maintained for the whole film.

Overall, even though I wish I knew less while seeing it, I had an enjoyable time with Oblivion.

8 | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).