Oblivion (2013) Tom Cruise is BACK! This time he plays a character named JACK! Because he's never played a character named Jack before. IN A WORLD (you just said it in a dramatic voice-over style right there) where a major alien invasion has occurred and thus destroyed the earth in the ensuing war, Jack and his lovely partner, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are left on the planet to repair drones before joining the others on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. But Beech (Morgan Freeman) has other plans and shows Jack the TRUTH! AOSIFJAWEOIFJA!!!! Sound like something that would interest you? Check out the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmIIgE7eSak
Ok I can sum up this movie in one sentence: A big budget sci-fi movie that forgot to hire writers. The movie really looks beautiful. It takes place in (what's left of) New York City, and the movie certainly makes sure to show us some of the major landmarks of NYC in its destroyed state. Really everything about the movie is beautiful. The setting, the vehicles, the guns, the scenery, everything. The budget of this movie was clearly spent on this aspect of the film. Where it was not spent, however, was on the story. It is a cliche story, with almost nothing fresh and unique to bring to the table. There are so many movies that this movie steals from, ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey all the way to The Matrix. Even Top Gun is present as Tom Cruise is really playing space Maverick. Deny it all you want, but you know it's true. And Morgan Freeman is Morpheus too, who shows Jack the TRUTH about what's going on in this post-apocalypse world! And the problem is that the movie approaches its story in a way that it doesn't think that the audience doesn't know what's coming. You know where my issues really reside? It acts like its concept is fresh. If it delivered itself in a way where (and this is the movie talking mind you) it's like, "Ya, we know this story has been done a thousand times." it would be a lot better than it is. But that is an if. And it will always be an if because the movie talks like this: "OH MAN! BET YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING HUH??? THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE CALLED THIS MOVIE OBLIVION. THEY SHOULD'VE CALLED IT.....ORIGION" (I'll see myself out)
Anyway, the acting is ok in this movie. I have no respect for what Tom Cruise does with his life outside of movies, but man he is a movie star. No one can deny that. He brings his (should be) trademarked charm into this movie, and it's a lot better because of it. If you hate Tom Cruise, just watch Knight and Day. That should change how you feel about him. Oh and Morgan Freeman....oh Morgan Freeman. He's been in several movies over the last few months, yet in none of them has he stood out. These are cash grabs for him, plain and simple. I think you have to go all the way back to Red in 2010 to find a movie where Freeman puts in a standout performance and looks like he's actually trying. But can you blame him? Every famous actor gets to that point in their career when they cash-in on their success. They have to pay the bills right? Leave money for their grand kids etc? So I don't hold it against him. The two female leads are pretty forgettable as well. Overall, this is Cruise's movie and that's it.
We have to talk about the soundtrack. They took the Daft Punk in Tron: Legacy approach and had M83 do the score for this film. I love M83, so I have to be happy about this. I will say I like the concept of having musicians creating scores, but they still aren't as good as the composers of today. However the main theme (at the end credits) featuring singer Susanne Sundfør is without a doubt my favorite movie theme from the summer and is one of my favorite songs in general as well. If you haven't heard it, check it out at the link above. But you don't go to see a movie for the score. Well maybe if John Williams did it but that doesn't count. You don't go to a movie for the scenery either. It's cool to see 90% of the Empire State Building covered by dirt but that's only cool for a minute. You go to a sci-fi movie to get engrossed in a good fictional sci-fi story. And this movie didn't do it for me.
The Critique: What did I say before? Right. A big budget sci-fi movie that forgot to hire writers.
The Recommendation: It wasn't a terrible way to spend two hours, but there are definitely better sci-fi movies out there. Heck just from the summer I'd recommend Elysium before this one without hesitation.
The Verdict: 4.5/10 slightly below average
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