Movie Review: Oblivion (2013)

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Drama


Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a drone repair technician in the year 2077.  Aliens named Scavs have blown up the Earth’s moon, and made the Earth largely uninhabitable. The Earth is patrolled by drones, which guard the few remaining humans left on the planet.  All Jack has to do is repair a few drones, and head to Titan, Saturn’s moon, with his colleague, Victoria. (Andrea Riseborough)   Even though Jack has had his memory wiped, he is tormented by dreams of a woman he’s never met.  One day, the drones shoot down a spacecraft, and the lone survivor on the spaceship, is a woman named Julia. (Olga Kurylenko)  Julia is the same woman appearing in Jack’s dreams.  Who is Julia?  Why is she in a downed spaceship?

This is strike two in Tom Cruise’s comeback career.  What is the word I’m looking for to describe the plot?  Incomprehensible?   Maybe it’s unintelligible.  The problem with this plot is that it borrows very heavily from other, more successful sci-fi movies.  It takes heaping helpings from The Matrix, Independence Day, Star Wars and the 1968 version of The Planet of the Apes.  It even reminded me of another Tom Cruise film, Vanilla Sky, which also had a plot which was impossible to discern.  Oblivion thinks if it can borrow from these movies, add some special effects and lots of explosions, that constitutes a movie.  It doesn’t.

The acting is not good.  Is it that I’m just noticing Tom Cruise’s acting is wooden?  Or was his acting always wooden?  I don’t think so, I think his acting was ok, at one point, and it’s just not good anymore.  I like Andrea Riseborough, she was trying to provide this façade of normalcy with all this strangeness going on around her.  Olga Kurylenko spends all her time on screen fighting an accent, so I couldn’t really judge her performance beyond that.  I felt badly for Morgan Freeman, he was doing a warmed over Lawrence Fihsburne role from the Matrix, thankfully for him, it was a small role.

If you’re counting, Cruise has now ruined two genres in his comeback, the action movie, and science fiction movie.  What genre will he take the wrecking ball to next?

Oblivion.  Where Tom Cruise’s career is headed.


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