Review by Jordan Hunt for CaryCitizen.com.
Cary, NC – Oblivion is the second feature film by director Joseph Kosinski. His previous film was the big budget Disney sequel Tron: Legacy. While that film was visually stunning, pretty much everything else about the movie fell flat for me with its cardboard characters and a story that went absolutely nowhere.
All of which lead me to have some serious doubts about the potential quality of Oblivion. Thankfully, the director has stepped up his game. This time working with his own original idea and adding the star power of Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman to the mix.
The result is an extremely entertaining science fiction film that serves as a nice precursor to the upcoming summer movie season.
War With Aliens
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as the film has more than a few twists and the less you know the better, but the initial set up is fairly simple. Humanity got into a war with an alien race and we won. However, the earth was devastated and humans were forced to leave. They left behind only a maintenance crew, led by Tom Cruise, to oversee drones which take out what remains of the alien race.
To say any more would spoil the fun, but I will say that the director lays quite a few clues throughout the film so pay close attention.
Gorgeous To Look At and Listen To
As I said previously, director Kosinski knows how to make a film look good and he definitely doesn’t disappoint in that department with Oblivion. The movie is simply gorgeous to look at with its unique futuristic designs and excellent special effects and should be seen on as big a screen as possible.
Also, special mention should be made of the film’s score. Composed by a band called M83 (I’ve never heard of them either), it’s an interesting mix of standard orchestra and techno music that really fits the science fiction setting and makes the film feel just a little more epic.
One of the things that surprised me most about Oblivion was its willingness to take its time. It’s a fairly leisurely paced movie, which isn’t to say it’s boring, but it really takes its time in setting up this world and these characters. That way, when the action does go down, you’re fully invested in what happens making the experience that much more exciting.
Cruise Gets Thumbs Up
As usual, Tom Cruise does a great job. There’s definitely a reason why the man has remained one of the most popular movie stars in the world almost despite himself. He commits 100% every single time, no matter the movie or the role and his work in Oblivion is especially impressive.
Granted, it’s not as if Oblivion is a movie striving for Oscar glory, but if you can’t get even the slightest bit invested in his character’s journey, then the whole movie would completely fall apart. Cruise knows how to draw you in and then creates a likable and believable character, a feat all the more impressive given the apocalyptic setting.
If I had one complaint about Oblivion, it would be that despite being considered an original story by director Kosinski, the film borrows a lot of its ideas and themes from numerous Sci-Fi films of the past, think: The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and even Pixar’s WALL-E. So if you’re even a little familiar with those films you might be able to sniff out a few of Oblivion’s surprises.
It’s a small complaint though, as Oblivion still offers an extremely satisfying and fun ride.