I Saw A Film Today… Oblivion

oblivion-KilianEngI like Tom Cruise. I really do. Say what you will about his off-screen beliefs or behaviors, but when that man steps onto a film set he gives everything he has got. Especially in action films. The man knows how to entertain simply with energy, which barely balances between controlled and exploding. Few actors are skilled enough to tip-toe that line quite like him, which makes him a great fit for Oblivion. Although he does portray blokes named Jack a lot it seems.

In 2077, sixty years after an alien race has invaded Earth, the planet is an irradiated wasteland and any remaining humans have moved to Saturn’s moon Titan. Jack Harper (Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are some of the few remaining people who inhabit the planet. Their job is to protect excavation machines that converts water into energy. In two weeks though Jack and Vic will leave Earth behind and join the others on Titan. Jack has reservations about this, all of which stems from flashbacks he has from a time before a mandatory memory wipe his company makes him take. Still following?

But Jack’s world is thrown for a loop when a spacecraft that has been floating in space for nearly sixty years ago crash lands on the planet with humans on board. The only survivor of the group is a woman named Julia (Olga Kurylenko), whom Jack recognizes from his flashbacks. And things only get more confusing for Jack when he learns nearly everything he knows is a lie.

What I really learned from watching Oblivion is that there is more than one way to make a good film, or at least a new way. Most good films are deemed good because they have an original and, more importantly, interesting screenplay.

Oblivion goes the opposite route. It picks and chooses from the classics and the greats. It takes a little from Minority Report, has a dash of Blade Runner and District 9, and takes quite a few elements from Moon. Sprinkle this with a little originality that is rooted from a graphic novel by director Joseph Kosinski, and you’ve got an entertaining and fresh sci-fi film.

It is a dense film though. The synopsis above is just a fraction of what takes place in the film, or even its core story really. The sad falter of this is how the more layers you try to add, the more Oblivion‘s solidarity begins to crumble. But with the pulsating soundtrack composed by M83 ushering you along at a constant pace, it could almost go unnoticed in a certain mindset.

 The film itself is very beautiful. It’s very minimalistic, especially in the set pieces like Jack’s “cloud home”. The whole film in fact has this sort of minimalism to it, even though it has massive scope. The colors palate is a drab white, grey, and tan for most of the film, making scenes of green wilderness or glacial waterfalls that more brilliant. The whole time I was watching this, i was in awe of what Kosinski’s created.

Tom Cruise is in his element in this film. His comfort with this sort of character over the years shows through in this film. His supporting cast helps too. Academy award winners Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo have a relatively small presence in this film but for whatever small screen time, they make up for with simply great acting. And the two leading ladies are not bad either. I’ve always enjoyed Olga Kurylenko. She is feminine yet holds her own in a fight. And Andrea Riseborough holds her own as well. And I always enjoy an appearance by Zoë Bell, even if it is only briefly.

Oblivion is, like Prometheus, a science fiction adventure you either love or hate. It’s pacing may be a lot to take in at times, but fans of sci-fi will appreciate the elements it incorporates from the greats of the genre.

Verdict: See it!

*Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity. 126 minutes. Directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy)

**Poster by Killian Eng.

*** Thanks to my friend Cody for sharing this cinematic adventure with me.

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2 Responses to “I Saw A Film Today… Oblivion”

  1. Yeh but where did the second stasis chamber come from??

    🙂

    • Kevin Entrekin Says:

      Haha fair point. Because all the others were destroyed by the drone. Large plot hole there.

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