Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman
Review Written By: Michael Dalton (Prime Minister)
In Oblivion, Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a man who repairs drones in a distant post-apocalyptic future. The earth has been wiped out and the remaining human beings live on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Drones provide the security for machines, which extract earth’s water for energy use, and it is Jack Harper who must repair and defend the drones from the remains of the alien race whose invasion brought about earth’s destruction. Plagued by dreams, which may be memories of a life he once lived, Jack Harper soon discovers a secret behind his mission and existence, which will change everything.
Oblivion is a film that is essentially a dull combination of every science-fiction film you have already seen. Throughout the film I was constantly thinking of how much I wished I were watching other films that did elements of this film much better. However it is not Oblivion’s unoriginality which is its main problem, nor its predictability but rather its sheer dullness. Oblivion is a slow paced film and I can enjoy slow paced films as long as they’re interesting, Oblivion isn’t. There is so much potential with this concept and with this story yet the filmmakers do not make the most of any of it. This plodding pace and lack of imagination resulted in me simply not caring what was going on and to be quite honest with you, by the time the film reached its third act I neither knew nor cared what was going on and was just waiting for it to end.
I like Tom Cruise and I was hoping this film would showcase what a great actor he can be and what a star he is. However the film left me thinking about how much Tom Cruise needs to re-invent himself, this man is stuck in the nineties. Cruise ought to be doing more roles like Tropic Thunder and Magnolia, challenging himself and the audience. This is your clichéd, standard, leading everyman performance that seems as if Cruise was sleepwalking through it. His performance is so dull and by the numbers, with me never really believing in or feeling for his character. Additionally there is zero chemistry whatsoever between him and Olga Kurylenko. To use the film's terminology, they are not an effective team. If your film is going to have a suppressed love story at its core it helps if the two actors who are meant to be in love actually have some chemistry with one another. Like every other element of the film, the acting was standard and dull, lacking any excitement, imagination or emotion. It’s also rather disappointing to have an actor as great as Morgan Freeman and then only have him in about three scenes, all of which require him to spout incredibly clichéd dialogue.
Moving away from the performances, which were more robotic than the film’s drones, to the visuals and the direction. Yes, this is a visually gorgeous film with some brilliant special effects and art direction; however there is so much wasted potential. The ruined earth shots essentially dissolve into anonymous landscapes and the drones are not the intimidating and terrifying force they could and should have been, and would have been under more experienced or better filmmaking hands. I admired the film’s visual referencing of other science-fiction films, just as I admired how the story referenced other science-fiction films however it ultimately did this film a disservice as it pales in comparison to the classics that it is inspired from.
The film’s plot is one that doesn’t stand up to close examination and one that constantly contradicts itself. Come the film’s conclusion after cop-out number twenty, many in the theater were left scratching their heads and not in a good way. This is a film I wanted to like and enjoy but due to it’s slow pace and lack of originality or invention, I was left incredibly bored and I wouldn’t blame anybody who fell asleep watching this film. I appreciate that we have a big budget science-fiction film with such aspirations but, despite not being in 3D, it still sold out to the mainstream studio conventions enough, existing in a strange purgatory world between an independent science-fiction film with performances and ideas at its core and one with Hollywood expectations of explosions and a comfortable pay-off.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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