Oblivion looks good and the story it is trying to tell places it in a genre I love – intelligent Science Fiction. You know, shit that makes you think. Stuff like: 2001, Moon, The Matrix, Solaris, even Total Recall. Sadly, although I really enjoyed it, it doesn’t quite succeed.
Here’s Oblivion’s plot: Tom Cruise and a ginger English lady are the last people on Earth and live in an awesome flat high off the surface. Previously there had been a war with some aliens called ‘the scavengers’ and we won! Yay us! Unfortunately, in order to win we had set off a load of nuclear bombs and fucked up the planet. Boo us! Consequently, everyone has legged it to Titan for some reason. Also for some reason we need to hoover up the oceans with giant machines in order to get hydrogen or energy for fusion or something. Which is weird as Titan probably has water already and space has loads of ice. Maybe I missed some bit of the explanation. It doesn’t really matter though.
In addition to the big ocean sucking machines, there are also scary, slightly psychopathic robots flying around that attack the remaining ‘Scavengers’. Tom and the ginger lady are there to make sure all the robots are working ok. They are a bit like Wall-E but without the rubbish or charm. Tom also has a lot of flashbacks to a woman on pre-war Earth, which is pretty baffling for all involved. Especially when he finds a pod with the woman inside.
THEN IT TURNS OUT THINGS AREN”T WHAT THEY SEEM! Oooooh…
That is pretty much all I can tell you without ruining the film.
Oblivion looks great and is well made. It is also fairly slow but I didn’t mind that. In fact, there could have been slightly less action and I would still have enjoyed it. At times the action felt like it was there because the test audiences wanted it to be 10% more exciting so they just whacked a few more explosions in. I guess the problem with the film is that I felt like I had seen a lot of it before. To be fair, I have read and seen a LOT of science fiction, so maybe it was just me. Also, the way Tom behaves toward the ginger lady and the way she behaves generally, struck me as a bit odd.
I forgot to mention that Morgan Freeman is in the film, but he doesn’t really do much. Which is a shame as I like Morgan Freeman.
Oblivion is a good film but not a great one. It’s well acted, well directed, and looks superb. I like the fact that it is trying to be a smart, thought provoking science fiction film. It’s just a shame that it feels a bit derivative of lots of other smart, thought provoking science fiction movies. It’s worth a watch though and there are some good bits in it. Here’s the trailer. Enjoy.