In Review: Oblivion

by Maryann O'Connor on 12/04/2013


Based on the first ten minutes of Oblivion, you might think you were in for a two hour long combination of Wall-E and Top Gun. Jack (Tom Cruise) has a penchant for puny plants in makeshift containers and doesn’t want to leave Earth even though it is now a mostly barren wasteland with a shattered moon hanging in the sky. Apparently it wasn’t the pesky humans who ended the planet’s prospects as we might have thought, it were an evil alien race known as the Scavengers who’ve exhausted their own planet’s resources and are in the business of finding new resources.

Jack and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) have been tasked with the job of maintaining the drones (bringing to mind the scary gun-happy machines from Robocop) which protect huge electricity generators in what remains of the ocean, harnessing the last of Earth’s power for the human colonies which now reside on Titan. Victoria plays the good little assistant back at base while Jack flies around in a swanky looking aircraft in an irresponsible manner looking for MiGs. Jack and Vic spend the rest of their solitary Earth time dining by candlelight or having sexy swims in an awesome long swimming pool.

It’s not long before we realise everything isn’t as it seems. Jack knows he had his memory wiped for some reason but he doesn’t really know why and little bits of memory keep seeping through to confound and intrigue him. He isn’t really prepared for what he learns.

Oblivion (directed and written by relative newbie Joseph Kosinski) is like a little montage of all the most popular sci-fi films over the last thirty years but, have no fear, it’s an entertaining montage. It all looks very swanky, Tom Cruise manages to channel an impressive amount of sensitivity and Andrea Riseborough plays the part of jobsworth sex object with aplomb.

The simplicity of the story is engaging, the character Cruise plays is relatable and overall it is fun and a little touching. Oblivion makes for a good Friday or Saturday night trip to the cinema.

Maryann has awarded Oblivion three Torches of Truth

three torches

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