Dir. Joseph Kosinski
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (this review also available in the Biggleswade Chronicle)
“Is it possible to miss a place you've never been? To mourn a time you never lived?”
My name is Jack Harper, known as Tech 49, I’m one of the last humans on earth - 60 years ago, we were attacked and although we won the war, it destroyed half the planet in the process. Everything feels odd here in the ruins of our civilisation, everyone's been evacuated to Titan, a habitable moon of Saturn, now nothing human remains. I’m here with my communications partner Victoria (Andrea ‘Welcome to the Punch’ Riseborough), we are tasked with keeping the weaponised drones repaired so that they can protect the massive water harvesting energy converters which are draining the last of earth’s resources.
We have to be ever vigilant because there are remnants of scavenger creatures in the wastes that continue to attack our facilities….
"home in the clouds"
Oblivion is an ambitious and intelligent large-scale sci-fi flick that packs seriously visually spectacular effects. Cruise does his patented smooth hero stuff in the lead role, although he is often upstaged by the incredible CGI effects that depict a believably devastated wasteland and the high tech drones etc. If you’ve played PS3 games like ‘Fallout’ you’ll relish the post-apocalyptic world brought to the screen here. The drones too are iconic creations – each has a formidable four gun set up and one red eye which is very ‘Hal-9000’.
Co-written, produced and directed by Joseph “Tron Legacy’ Kosinski, this is based on his unpublished graphic novel and that is perhaps the main weakness of the film in that it is light on actual plot for a 2 hour plus experience (although not short on plot holes).
"hey bud, I'm on your side"
The supporting cast all work well and include Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones and ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko. But this is Cruise’s movie and he adds another grand cinematic role to his impressive roster.
I saw Oblivion with my esteemed fellow critic Tom Wade who wasn’t as enamored with it – but then I get the impression that he has some issues with Cruise he said: “There’s only so far up yourself you can go… until you get to Tom Cruise!”
For me though, l Oblivion delivers an above average slice of thought provoking sci-fi nonsense, it sets the bar for the raft of sci-fi films this year which include Elysium, Star Trek: Into Darkness and After Earth and is definitely worth a watch.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
öööö - Earth is a memory worth fighting for (on the big screen)
4 – Sci-fi that delivers
Awesomeness öööö – iconic drones, great wasteland
Laughs ö – limited mirth
Horror öö – not too dark
Babes ööö – Cruise gets 2 for price of one
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - the truth will set you free