My friend Dustin Putman and I had a conversation about this before seeing Oblivion, and I am kind of curious what you all think. Is Oblivion the first movie of the Summer 2013 Movie Season?
It stars Tom Cruise. It is a big time, big budget, blockbustery sci-fi film, and it features Morgan Freeman wearing some cool shades and a stylish cape. Capes are going to be very popular in summer movies this year.
In Oblivion, Cruise stars as Jack – the lone human patrolling a post-apocalyptic Earth fixing security drones with the promise he will be sent to the space station in the sky where the last surviving humans live. Think of him as a more intense and less charming Wall-E.
Aliens invaded some 70 years ago, and humans turned to nuclear weapons to get rid of them. Now, the world is destroyed, some aliens still wander the planet, and Jack needs to help protect big machines that bring needed resources to that space station.
However, he keeps having these dreams of a beautiful, exotic woman (Olga Kurylenko), and, well, Jack is very confused about these feelings and his attraction to this female (Tom put in some of his best acting here?).
One day, while making his rounds and responding to a strange beacon, Jack comes across a crashed spacecraft and THAT WOMAN IS ON BOARD!
Who is she?
How does he know her?
Will the aliens kill him?
I got to see Oblivion in iMax, but I think it was EARmax as well. Damn! This movie is LOUD. My ears were ringing for hours after seeing it because I think the creative team lives by the motto, “if you don’t have anything all that interesting to say, say it as loudly as possible and people might be fooled.”
Oblivion is a movie that seems to promise so much more than it delivers. Sure, it looks amazing. Director Joseph Kosinski has created a shockingly desolate Earth with little images tossed in to help you realize where Jack is living and what happened to our planet when those aliens invaded. Plus, Jack gets some awesome toys to play with between that helicopter, space shotgun and motorcycle.
And, Cruise plays an interesting character with a growing curiosity about this place and a building dissatisfaction with his leaders. It’s that typical Tom Cruise intense action hero dude that he plays so well, especially if the mission is impossible.
But, it takes too long to get to the meat of the story, and, when we finally get to that meat, it is not filet mignon. It’s more like a good chicken?
The overall idea is interesting, but Kosinski, who also was one of the writers of the movie, doesn’t add much depth to the story. It’s very straight forward and easily figured out once we start getting some details, and it takes too much time to get there.
The pace is ponderous no matter how much stuff they blow up, and most of it feels meaningless. We never get that big, shocking moment to make you drop your popcorn, and Oblivion needs that scene to make it go from average to great.
Oblivion is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity