Granted Oblivion takes inspiration from countless sci-fi classics, granted that it lets a larger than life star consume it, granted it lets visual flair and elegance triumph mind bending probabilities, but there is no denying the fact that it is one hell of an entertainer, and probably THE sci-fi vehicle that Tom Cruise wanted all his life, Spielberg aside. A long preamble sets the dystopian background- it is the year 2077, and the earth has been devastated in a war with aliens who destroyed the moon, thus destabilizing the earth, causing earthquakes and tsunamis. Nuclear annihilation followed, and as the earth became inhabitable, the surviving humans moved to Titan, a moon of Saturn, while alien scavengers still roam the irradiated habitat. They still mine the earth's resources through giant reactors which are in turn protected by drones, which are maintained by a pair of technicians residing in a stylish, minimalistic floating facility in the clouds, with wiped out memories- Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), who are counting their days to their return to Saturn. Is this the truth? Who are Jack and Victoria? Why does Jack still have haunting memories of his past? Are there humans left on earth? Who won the war? "Is it possible to miss a place you've never been? To mourn a time you never lived?" Oblivion doffs it cap to gems such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, I am legend, Independence Day, @Moon, Star Wars, Total Recall, The Matrix and of course, WALLE to create a striking, visually resplendent feature. Fresh from his Oscar for Life of Pi (film), Claudio Miranda creates an another unforgettable integration of cinematography and visual effects- an arresting landscape of desolate beauty pockmarked with craters and fallen signposts of humanity as we know it, and lush, unspoiled green valleys. The action is sporadic and effective, not overpowering, and there is a love triangle that is sensitively dealt with. Cruise here is playing one of his more affable characters, a dreamer trying to find out the meaning of his existence, taking direct inspiration from Sam Rockwell's stellar turn in the Moon. As revelations unravel, he gets into superstar mode with minimal fussiness- cool vehicles, check. Weapons, check. Beautiful babes, check. Mission to save the world, check. Risenborough is superb as the icy cool, rule following partner, Olga Kurylenko gives grace to an essentially damsel in distress role, while Morgan Freeman is his usual solid self in a cameo. Director Joseph Kosinski gives a graphic novel flair to the proceedings, and like his previous effort Tron Legacy, gives a solid bonus in the form of a surging musical score by French band M83.To sum up, Oblivion may not be terribly original, but it is stylish, well written and got performances to boot- especially Cruise who is in red hot form. It may not be a puzzle to solve, but in the immortal words of Roxette- it's got the look to warrant a trip to the theaters! Go on and enjoy a summer spectacle.
125 out of 197 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.