I just got back from watching Oblivion. My brain and my soul have been looking for some ‘decent’ science fiction and this movie delivered. It might not be the greatest or anything truly groundbreaking but it does scratch that itch of mine. The movie aims high but misses its target. Hopefully it can tide me over until Star trek and Iron man come out.
Despite falling short of its potential, there are plenty of great things about Oblivion.
Twists & Turns Caught Me Off Guard
It’s an original story yet the creators have managed to weave a deep plot. It is dense, full of twists and turns that at times caught me off guard. Though most of the elements are predictable to anyone who’s a fan of the genre. In fact, the story feels like a mash of different franchises, borrowing elements that have already been done. Nonetheless, even if that’s the case, the story is good enough.
The acting is another of the movie’s highlights. Morgan Freeman, Tom cruise, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko manage to sell the movie all on their own. Tom Cruise manages to showcase his acting chops by performing well. As events unfold, the number of emotions that go through his face are truly noteworthy, surprise, curiosity and especially confusion.
Olga Kurylenko plays Julia, a Human who crashes lands on Earth. From the get go, I felt her energy and she managed to sell the whole girls with a secret well. Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of a rebel leader isn’t as strong as his other performances, but perhaps that’s because he doesn’t get as much screen time as the others.
I Found Myself a Little Bit Jealous of the Circumstances
While all these celebrities give okay performances, I think the best of them all (for this movie at least) is Andrea Riseborough. She plays Tom Cruise’s partner, Victoria, and you can feel the sparks. The concern and love she shows is so excellent; I found myself a little jealous of the circumstances. When things start to go down hill she manages to convey a subtle sense of dread and confusion at the same time – and perhaps a pinch of crazy. All in all, she is spectacular.
I Couldn’t Help but Think that It Was Alive
The special effects are worthy of praise. A scarred, war torn Earth never looked so authentic. My favorite imagery was the Pentagon looking like it had been hit by something fierce and deadly. The drones felt real as well; the up close and personal moments with them were truly awe inspiring. As I took it all in, especially the moving parts and mechanical functions, I couldn’t help but think that it was alive.
It Looked Like a Futuristic Version of the Osprey
In fact, they were so realistic that I felt that the characters could just reach out and grab them. While I’m sure that’s mainly because they had a life sized prop of the drone, a good chunk was still in CGI. The seamless transition was so good, that I found it hard to distinguish what was computer generated and what was not. The aerospace fighter transport was also highly detailed; in all honesty, it looked like a futuristic version of the Osprey. Sadly, I doubt that my hopes to see one of those in a couple decades will ever come to pass.
Boring Yet Necessary Opening Sets the Stage Up
The worst part of the movie is at the start. It begins with a long narration. Tom Cruise’s character (Jack Harper) tells us everything that the protagonist knows about the events leading up to the movie. It wasn’t the best or the flashiest; it was downright boring. Isn’t the reason why we watch movies is to see the characters acting? To be fair, it did provide a solid foundation, but for the first couple of minutes, it felt like a documentary. Still, for all my disdain, it did provide me with a basic understanding of what was going on; without it, I would have probably struggled through the movie. In a way, it sets the stage up for the following performance, and it’s an integral part of the story so be sure to listen to.
One Breathtaking Rush of Events Leads to a Twist I Didn’t See Coming
My favorite scene would be the whole drone chase that comes in the middle of the movie. From start to finish, the entire sequence is extraordinary, from the point where Victoria goes a little crazy to the canyon run that reminded me of the Death Star. It is one breathtaking rush of events that leads to a twist that I should have seen coming but didn’t. The action is top notch and as the guns go blazing, it kind of takes me back to Top Gun. It’s an aerial display of maneuver and counter maneuvers trying to get that one lucky shot. In short, it was a visual feast for my eyes.
Final Rating: 7/10
It’s a story driven film and no one will ever mistake it for revolutionary, but we can hardly expect great jaw-dropping movies every time. There are a few bad points and it manages to do all the right things properly, yet the predictability of it all leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Still, the attempt at creating a whole new sci-fi universe must be applauded.
All together, I give it a 7 over 10, an average piece of storytelling and entertainment. If you’re interested in Sci-Fi, then by all means watch it in the theaters, but for those who aren’t, waiting for the Blu-ray might be a better alternative. Whichever option you choose, know that the movie will leave you satisfied but it won’t be as memorable as some.
This is a guest review by Sidney Raflores ,who is a science fiction nut. He lives and breathes the genre, living day by day in hopes to find the next best story in the category. Books are his primary source of entertainment but he watches any sci-fi movies fanatically, in hopes that one day he will finally find a story that leaves him satisfied.