SYNOPSIS: Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion, an original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the visionary director of TRON: Legacy and producers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind. 2077: Jack Harper (Cruise) serves as a security repairmen stationed on an evacuated Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying alien threat who still scavenges what’s left of our planet, Jack’s mission is almost complete. In a matter of two weeks, he will join the remaining survivors on a lunar colony far from the war-torn world he has long called home. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, Jack’s soaring existence is brought crashing down after he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Drawn to Jack through a connection that transcends logic, her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he thought he knew. With a reality that is shattered as he discovers shocking truths that connect him to Earth of the past, Jack will be pushed to a heroism he didn’t know he contained within. The fate of humanity now rests solely in the hands of a man who believed our world was soon to be lost forever
REVIEW: If you’ve ever watched a sci-fi flick from any decade, you’ve pretty much seen Oblivion, which is penned by Karl Gajdusek (Trespass, 2011), Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, 2010) and Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, 2011). Despite not seeming to be an original concept, by the seasoned director, it does bring a cool storyline and intriguing twist the sci-fi genre. Also with being at risk of presenting spoilers here, I’d say that this latest Tom Cruise effort seems to be a jigsaw-puzzle of many of the past decade’s blockbuster movies, such as the Matrix trilogy. Having said this, the success of this flick is in the presentation of these well worn and tested ideas and ultimately the exceptional display of craftsmanship, with all parties involved.
Another appealing aspect to this flick is the principle lead. I generally go in to a Tom Cruise release with a tad bit of apprehension: be it the role of a rich vampire, rich industrialist or child of rich parents. This is especially true when he’s in roles where wealth, power and extraordinary skill-sets are his predominant character attributes. However, in Oblivion his presence works when stripped of much of the off-screen persona that made him a joke in the past several years. His playing Jack Harper as a reflective, lonely man gives the film a certain dynamic and gritty feel that normally would not be very convincing in many of his previous roles. Therefore, for the first time in his career, I see him as a genuine “Joe Shmoe,” defeated from the beginning and needing to depend on other characters in the flick to bring the story-line to worthiness. In other words, it’s not all about the Tom Cruise persona, playing the super character saving the world, but instead just a regular guy playing a regular character and needing others of equal or greater character strengths. It goes without saying that Cruise was definitely a good choice for the lead role.
Likewise, it seems like casting execs can never go wrong with the immortal Morgan Freeman. His character’s role brings a certain level of humanity and down-to-earth feel to the film. His presence and demeanor are simply unstoppable and provide that feel of a real sci-fi that is humanly and earthly based. The female leading characters are a soothing sight for sore eyes and are well played by eye-candy model-turned-actress, Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, 2008) and (little known in the US) British–highly-decorated actress Andrea Riseborough. Thankfully the movie is very visually pleasing and doesn’t rely heavily on lots of dialog from the supporting cast.
Overall, the combination of awesome CG visuals, a great selection in cast and loads of action speaks to the overall quality of the film. It is definitely worth the visit to the theaters and deserves four out of five stars for creativity, mystery and intrigue.
By Movi-Man Stan
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