Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released on April 19, 2013
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Written by Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt
Cast: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, Zoe Bell, David Madison, Abigail Lowe, Isabelle Lowe, Fileena Bahris
The second film from Joseph Kosinski, the director of Tron: Legacy, is an entertaining, thought-provoking, and surprisingly intelligent apocalyptic sci-fi adventure, whose story details would not only take paragraph upon paragraph to fully explain, but would also spoil the many twists and surprises that are revealed over the course of the film.
So I’m not even going to try, and instead I’ll just keep it simple, which is not to say necessarily accurate, for spoilers sake: sixty years after the Earth has been decimated and abandoned after an alien invasion, Tom Cruise is assigned the task of repairing and maintaining airborne security drones, which protect gigantic refineries that will transport Earth’s remaining resources to a Saturn moon, where the surviving human populace has migrated.
And I know that sounds very basic and uneventful, but trust me, that brief synopsis is barely scratching the surface; there’s so much more to the story, and the film takes you places that you never expected to go, that I can’t help but go out on a limb and enthusiastically recommend this, even though some may be dismayed to find that it’s not the action-packed spectacle they’d hoped for. But it’s that very aspect that makes Oblivion such a worthwhile visit: it’s cerebral, stunningly visual, and at times even a tad emotional.
Indeed, it’s first and foremost a science fiction film (and detractors will say it borrows from too many classic sci-fi films of the past fifty years), but you’ll also find an equal dose of mystery, suspense, love story, and yes, action, which all add up to an overall captivating experience. At the very least, the examples of future technology, both human and alien, should hold your interest (those menacing drones are just flat-out awesome), and the images of a destroyed and desolate Earth landscape might even make you feel a bit pensive, or at least more appreciative of the planet we live on today.
All four leads—Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, and Andrea Riseborough—are solid in their roles, and of course it’s Cruise and his character that command your attention, but the filmmakers should really get some credit for delivering a film that, to me, offered so much more than expected, and did it smartly, efficiently, and with flair. I really hope this film does well, because I think it deserves to be seen and appreciated. (9/10)