Movie Review: Oblivion (Visual Spectacle with Brains)


“Oblivion” stars Tom Cruise as Jack Harper, a tech assigned as the ‘mop up’ crew to protect a few machines on a post-apocalyptic Earth…

Things begin to go awry.  Some excellent action sequences occur.  A more intriguing-than-expected plot develops.  All the while the film dazzles you with jaw-dropping cinematography and visuals.

The highlight of “Oblivion” is undoubtedly its stunning visuals.  My eyes widened as I took in the majesty of a once-familiar world now devoid of all of its species.  Director Joseph Kosinski is a master at creating various tones through visuals; the tones can be monotonous, tranquil, desolate, or desperate.  I love films where dialogues are kept to a minimum and the story is told through what the audience sees, “Oblivion” is one of those films.

Tom Cruise gives another strong performance, playing a role that is right up his alley.  Harper is good at his job, but he is haunted by nightmares of which he cannot decipher or remember its origins.  This film also gives Cruise opportunities to do his signature ‘shocked’ face, where a shattering truth is revealed to his character and he stands dumbfounded and struggles to grab a handle of its meaning.  Cruise fans can remember such shocked faces from “Minority Report,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “Mission Impossible: 3.”

As for “Oblivion”s plot line: I’m usually quite capable at predicting the story lines of films; I have to say that the twists and revelations “Oblivion” offers caught me off guard.  But rather feeling tricked as some bad films with bad twists would, these surprise turns of events fit well into the story and was, well, pretty cool.

It had occurred to me that, as the end credits rolled, that this film could have been a mind-blowing, and refreshing reboot / sequel continuation to the “Terminator” series.  This film begins in a post-apocalyptic world as the result of extraterrestrial attacks on Earth, and the aliens possess the intelligence to exploit the various weaknesses of human beings (the physical, the conscious, etc.).  The mental capacity of these extraterrestrials would have been a great way to explain how the machines in the “Terminator” films have evolved.

To experience “Oblivion” fully, see the film in IMAX, and prepare to be wowed.

Author: dky1

A graduated (but still caffeinated) student. I write mostly politics and movie reviews in the Third Cup blog, and some fiction, short stories, and gaming journal on the Loner's Diaries blog.

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