OBLIVION Movie Review
Equal parts Moon, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and countless others, Oblivion is an amalgam of all the sci- fi films I’ve loved. However, given the choice, I’d rather watch the originals over this any day. They take their singular themes and master them, instead of being a mashup jack of all trades.
Oblivion follows the clean-up crew of Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria, the only two humans left on Earth to ensure that the fuel stations on Earth keep running by protecting the drones from the “Scavs”, the remaining aliens who are still putting up a fight.
When Jack Harper starts to question whether he wants to join the other humans on Saturn’s moon Titan, that’s when things get interesting. The Scavs try to capture him, Victoria starts to question their romantic and professional partnership, and then a woman from his dreams literally drops from the sky. As to keep some of its twists and turns a surprise, I’ll leave it at that.
Oblivion is not an action movie, which may disappoint some fans after seeing the drone attacks in the trailers. While those scenes are fantastic, they are few and far between. The expository beginning as narrated by Cruise would have been much more engaging if a bit of it had been shown via flashback. Instead we’re treated to a rambling info dump that is then repeated nearly verbatim about a third of the way through when it finally shows up in character conversation.
At its core, Oblivion is a romance. It’s the story of a relationship and all of the obstacles that love overcomes. Sure there are a few good action sequences, but if that’s all you’re looking for you will be sorely disappointed.
I have to mention the epic soundtrack that thumps along throughout the film. Composed by M83, it is the best part of this film. Immediately after viewing, I couldn’t help but compare it to the 2011 film Tron: Legacy. Both are decent science fiction films with great visuals and amazing soundtracks. They also both suffer from an emotional detachment of sorts, where you never fully connect with the characters to root for them. It was only after some research I realized why this is – both are directed by Joseph Kosinski.
As a sci-fi fan, I love when there’s original science fiction films being made, instead of the umpteenth sequel to the big franchise of the moment or the toy-turned-scifi/action flick we’re now seeing. However, while Oblivion isn’t a sequel or a based off a toy, it’s far from original.
Oblivion lands in theaters this Friday, April 19.