A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.
Directed: Joseph Kosinski
What we think: Oblivion is visually stunning, as far as Sci-fi films go it must be one of the best looking films of 2013, I cannot think of any others that come close?
The opening monologue sets the scene with Earth all but reduced to a desolate radioactive wasteland after the war with an Alien race called the Scavengers (or Scavs) who wanted the Earth’s resources.
The humans won the war but lost the Earth, and only once famous landmarks are now slightly recognisable pieces of rumble. The rest of the population have left to take residence on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn while others inhabit a large space station called the Tet.
Like a real life version of Wall-E Jack Harper (Cruise) is a drone technician who as the title would suggest goes out from his home high in the clouds to fix and track the many drones (protecting hydro-rigs that send energy to humanity’s survivors) that need assistance, getting them back online with the twist of a fuel cell.
Harper is paired with Victoria (Riseborough) who acts as his co-ordinator and guides him through the missions that are handed down by commander Sally (who I didn’t at first recognise as Oscar winner Melissa Leo).
The pair play out their daily lives and chat at the prospect of completing their mission and finally joining the others on Titan, but Jack still regards Earth (what’s left of it) as his home and from time to time escapes to a secluded lush hide away by a lake.
It’s clear to see where Kosinski’s efforts lie, and that is with building the surrounding landscape and scenery. From the dust ridden plains to the high tech living quarters above the clouds so much attention to detail has been put into it.
It’s a shame then that for the second half of the film, that attention to detail wasn’t spent on the plot, especially when Morgan Freeman’s cigar smoking rebel, Beech turns up to drop a massive bombshell.
It gets even more confusing when a woman (Olga Kurylenko) that Jack sees in his dreams suddenly appears up mid way through, and via some flash backs we get that part explained to us, but it still feels a little disjointed.
With the film shot on real locations (Iceland) much credit can be attributed to the fact that it doesn’t require a green screen, actors get to feel the real surroundings of Earth post nuclear war.
There are some cool action sequences, a canyon dog fight involving a trio of drones let’s Cruise show off his fighter pilot skills and there is a nice shoot out within the abandoned and derelict New York library.
Cruise just ambles about doing what he does best, but this role doesn’t feel like its anything that he can really get his teeth into. If anything the stand out is Riseborough, she has to battle with a number of different feelings from love, to jealousy to hate and does so with gusto.
Overall howe ver the underlying theme is one of humanity and survival, but this is not something that is really delved into too much. The ending boarder lines on the ridiculous, like an Independence Day rip off there will be many questions left unanswered.
View the trailer…
What did you think of Oblivion? Was it what you were expecting, leave a comment and let us know.