Oblivion

Summary:

Oblivion shows promise for director Kosinski. The movie features stunning visuals that are very reminiscent of Prometheus. The established world and tech give the film a very clean and futuristic look and an interesting history. The cinematography gives the film a warm hopeful feeling and doesn’t turn Earth into a desolate wasteland. Tom Cruise lends himself well to the genre and serves as a solid action star for Oblivion. The story feels derivative and works harder on throwing out plot twists than telling an engaging story. You can see glimpses of the movies that inspired Oblivion but unless your a fan of the genre Oblivion comes away as just gorgeous eye candy.  

With movies like Elysium, After Earth, Star Trek Into Darkness, and many more just around the corner it’s shaping up to be an exciting year for Sci-Fi movies! Of the upcoming movies Oblivion is the first to kick off this Sci-Fi heavy summer! Oblivion is director Joseph Kosinski’s second movie coming off 2010’s Tron: Legacy. Although Tron was a visually stunning film the story was somewhat hollow. Does Oblivion surpass what Kosinski’s previous work lacked?

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Set in the year 2077, sixty years after an alien invasion, Jack Harper is one of two surviving humans on Earth. Left behind to help recover the remaining resources on Earth, the two monitor alien scavenger attacks and repair security drones. With only two weeks left before they can rejoin the rest of humanity on Titan, Jack makes a discovery that leads him on an enlightening path.

Visually Oblivion is a wonderful film. The film was primarily shot in Iceland and the movie takes full advantage of the gorgeous scenery. The cinematography was very reminiscent of last year’s Prometheus and is truly awe inspiring. The movie does a wonderful job of capturing a destroyed look of Earth with just enough remnants of human life to keep it from being just another desolate wasteland. There is beauty and warmth left and it provides a good sense of hope for both the main character and the audiences.

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Equally impressive is the universe that Oblivion strives to establish. Although much of the story is derivative from other classic Sci-Fi movies you can see that Oblivion tries to place it’s own spin on things. The tech and ship designs are wonderfully done and provide a clean futuristic feel to the film. The drones though seemingly simple in design, posses a haunting feel in both their looks in movements. It’s a shame that despite the visual prowess of the film, the story just doesn’t quite match up in terms of quality.

It feels as though Oblivion works harder on throwing out plot twists than making a captivating story. With the ‘been there done that’ feel throughout the film these twists are telegraphed a mile away. The antagonists of the film never feel fully fleshed out and I never got a dire sense of urgency until the final acts of the film. The movie also tries to weave in a love plot but it has a hard time of balancing it, and it came away as forced. As a fan of the genre it was easy to look past these fallbacks, especially since you can see glimpses of the movie that inspire Oblivion. Unlike its visuals, Oblivion doesn’t do anything to put its own spin on the story, making it harder to reach out further than fans of the genre.

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Tom Cruise brings his familiar regular Joe persona to Jack Harper and gives a performance that works well for the film. Cruise lends himself well to the genre and serves as a solid action star. Although Morgan Freeman delivers a good performance, he’s not given much to work with and comes away as nothing more than name bait. The female leads, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko, are great as well. Riseborough in particular stands out and gave the film a lot of its warmth. Riseborough tells so much with so little and is able to help round out the relationship between Jack and Victoria.

Oblivion brings a lot of great flight sequences that are thrilling and captivating. The firefights in the sky and the shootouts in abandoned buildings are loud and satisfying. The action sequences are impressive and are placed well enough in between the lulls in the story to keep things moving. It’s not all big explosions though. The movie works well to create high tension with long stints of silence and haunting sets. Due to the lack of a musical background I rarely comment on a film’s score but I can’t get away with this review without mentioning Oblivion’s. M83’s
score here does wonders for the film and came away as one my personal favorite aspects to the film.

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Oblivion is a definite improvement for Kosinski. There are glimpses of greatness throughout the film and shows that Kosinski is a promising director. Although I left the theater satisfied I was still left wanting more and not in a good way. There’s an overall adequate feel to the film that just manages to curb the sci-fi hunger. The established world and tech is there but without a tighter story and better-developed characters Oblivion comes away as just great eye candy.

Oblivion shows promise for director Kosinski. The movie features stunning visuals that are very reminiscent of Prometheus. The established world and tech give the film a very clean and futuristic look and an interesting history. The cinematography gives the film a warm hopeful feeling and doesn’t turn Earth into a desolate wasteland. Tom Cruise lends himself well to the genre and serves as a solid action star for Oblivion. The story feels derivative and works harder on throwing out plot twists than telling an engaging story. You can see glimpses of the movies that inspired Oblivion but unless your a fan of the genre the Oblivion comes away as gorgeous eye candy.

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One response to “Oblivion

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of August 5th | Thinking Cinematic

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