Oblivion Review: We Won the War, But Lost the Planet

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In an era where most blockbuster action/thrillers have more loose ends than the before lady in a shampoo commercial, all a film really has to do to not suck is make sense.

Oblivion makes sense. Therefore, Oblivion doesn't suck. 

While the film thinks it’s being more mind-blowing than it actually is, ultimately Oblivion is a fun, clean, flashy movie with a few well thought-out twists and turns.

Tom Cruise Oblivion

The film does have some pacing issues, the biggest of which being that the backstory is so complicated, the first fifteen minutes of the film feel like a training seminar.

Tom Cruise stars as Commander Jack Harper, the man with the most Ordinary name in America. No, actually, Harper is a drone repairmen left on Earth after its abandonment, following an alien attack.

“We won the war, but lost the planet,” his character says. With his partner Victoria, played by Andrea Riseborough, who also happens to be sleeping with him (if you were the lost two on Earth, wouldn’t you?), he is tasked with ensuring that a robotic operation to harvest the Earth’s water for use on the human race’s new home goes smoothly, without any interruption from the few remaining alien scavengers (called Scavs).

Once the operation is completed, according to their mission control officer Sally, played by Melissa Leo, Jack and Victoria will join her and the rest of humanity on a giant space station, used as holding stage until their new planet is ready.

Oh yeah, and Jack and Andrea’s memories were erased in order to aid the mission.

Okay, now the plot can start (right?).

Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion

One day, while out on the job, a Scav homing device brings down a spaceship carrying a crew in hibernation. The drones that Jack repairs immediately take fire.

Jack sees Julia, a woman he recognizes from his dreams, played by Olga Kurylenko, among the crew, and saves her.

Julia’s arrival sends Jack on a journey to discover the truth behind the alien war, which begins when the two are captured by a human resistance movement, headed by Morgan Freeman.

The plot has some issues, namely that the memory erasures are a dead giveaway that some crazy self-discovery is going to happen, and the movie could have worked just as well without them.

Despite this, and one of the worst monologues about sports ever preserved on film, Oblivion feels cogent.

The performances are good enough, if a tad “futuristically stiff,” especially Cruise’s. Though, to be fair, Cruise feels futuristically stiff even when he’s on a talk show. The guy is weird.

The ending is massive in scope, while still holding true to the reality of the movie, which is an extremely novel feat by director Joseph Kosinski in the era of low-concept, three hour, plotless, leaky, explosion-riddled garbage.

Ultimately, Oblivion looks really nice, and is a fun high-concept sci-fi action movie not based on a franchise. Plus, it clocks it at just over 2 hours, so it’s definitely worth seeing on a weekend where it’s the only new release.

RATING: 3/5

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Dear Brother Tom, great job, with the rest of a very well cast ensemble...I liked the entire production, especially the good prosodic pace of unfolding the story. For curious reasons there are aspects in this story development that throughout touched on feelings & ideas immediately weaving into my work as a coach/practitioner of a created practice I call "WU-QI QIGONG" at a local Family Health Care Clinic. The entire posited feeling of the setting, the characters created & their engaging personal stories poignantly illuminated my work at the Dr. Sharon D. Lee clinics. Why? Some is due to the perceived stories of the characters. Even though having mission essential memory wipes, some ingredient in their intrinsic makeup seemed potent enough to continue emerging if for no other reason than to recollect the wellbeing of the persons that had began their journeys. I liked it also because being a huge fan of brother Tom, I can add this to a growing list of films he has done tht are in my view classics. The women in this piece also stand out & are fully lathed, Julia, the wife & Victoria, his work mate & lover. This part was painful because her loss was so deep. Always super to see Mr Freeman in all his work. Good ensemble work. Thanks Gossip, cast & crew.

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IF YOU.VE EVER PAID T O SEE A TOM UNIBROW CRUISE MOVIE , CHECK YOU PULSE !!!! HE'S LIKE JACK NICKOLSEN .... HE SAME MONOTINOUS DROLL ACT ...

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This all sounds like too much work to watch this movie!

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Tom is classic, ageless and highly entertaining.

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tommy won back his scientology movement.............BUT LOST HIS FAMILY, folks!!