Dalton’s Cinema Spot- Oblivion

Dalton's Cinema Spot- Oblivion

Dalton Valette, Opinions Editor

PG-13, 124 minutes

Starring- Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko

3.5/ 5 Stars

 

Oblivion is set in the year 2077. Sixty years ago, a massive war broke out between us and an alien species known as Scavs, short for Scavengers. The human race won the war, but over half the planet was destroyed in the process, forcing most of humanity to flee for the Saturn moon of Titan. Now, a select few including a technician named Jack Harper (Cruise) remain on Earth to collect the rest of Earth’s valuable resources such as water and to repair drones that circle around the planet to kill off Scavs. Jack is living his normal life in a beautiful floating glass home, until he rescues a woman named Julia (Kurylenko) who claims to know him from years ago. Now, all that he knows is thrown down the tubes and he must discover who he really is and if he has been lied to all his life.

The director of Oblivion, Joseph Kosinski, also directed the 2010 film Tron: Legacy. Both of these films have stunning visuals which never cease to amaze . Now unlike Tron, with intense science fiction visuals and colors bursting at the seams with neon lights flashing across the screen in every direction, Oblivion utilizes the visuals in a more subtle yet beautiful way. The subtly provides exceptional beautiful landscape shots of the ragged world and sometimes these precision point shots are hard to decide if they’re real or not. I would recommend seeing this film purely based on the spectacular look of it and I was near drooling at times. The ability to meld elegant landscapes with sharp, colorful science fiction was perfect in this film, making Oblivion the most beautiful film to watch this year.

But, like Tron, the outstanding look of the film overshadowed the story. (I wonder if this will just be a recurring element to future Kosinski films.)  Most will claim Oblivion is largely a live action reimagining of 2008’s Wall-E. No, this is not like Wall-E.  Mostly. It does, however, borrow elements from almost every other science fiction film on the planet such as Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Total Recall, I Am Legend, and Independence Day to name a few. For most of the movie, I was slightly confused with what all was going on and still afterwards I was left with a fair amount of questions that could have been easily answered. The ending is able to wrap up most of the broader questions, but still the script coudl have benefited from another read through.

With that in mind, I would recommend Oblivion. Cruise, who I am no admirer of, gives a surprisingly strong and vulnerable performance as Jack Harper. Cruise’s strong performance, along with Morgan Freeman who was sadly not utilized enough, and the beautiful visuals outweigh the at times flimsy script. In the end, this is just a fun film to watch. This is by no means a great film and will probably get buried in all the other blockbuster films hitting theaters soon, but it’s an enjoyable popcorn film that balances action and character building nicely. Oblivion is grand on beauty, short on story, but all in all fun.