IN REVIEW: “Tom Cruise Saves Earth From Himself In “Oblivion!”
Written by Lorenzo Marchessi
Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) chose to take a very operatic approach to this story which is based on a comic book written by Kosinski and Arvid Neslon and a screenplay adapted again by Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek (Tresspass, Dead Like Me) and Michael Arndt ( Toy Story 3, Star Wars VII).
The look and feel of the film is smooth and clean while the drama flows in the same direction and slowly, very slowly unfolds to reveal the truth about the people on Earth and a catastrophic event left earth just barely alive. The moon was destroyed, although we don’t know how, and that was the beginning of the end for Earth.
Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Jack Reacher) plays an astronaut Jack who is assigned to repair and maintenance of drones that protect a machine that basically turns our seawater into energy for a the population of earth which has ‘apparently’ moved to a moon of Saturn after an alien attack. It was an alien war in which Earth apparently won or so the audience is lead to believe.
Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, Dolphin Tale) plays an unsuspecting prospector of many who holds the truth of what really happened. His command of the scenes he is in makes you believe what he says, although unbelievable at first, it could be true. I can’t give away the reasons or what he represents without spoiling the film for you, but – spoiler – everything is not what it seems to be.
Two really good, sedate but powerful performances come from Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Hitman) as a mission specialist with a history with Cruise’s character that will defiantely surprise you – and the second performance comes from Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer, Resistance) playing the woman in Cruise’s life who along with maintaining the technical aspects of communication is also his partner in life.
The ships, probes, drones, vehicles and even the finale with the surprise orbiting station is visually impressive. The action sequences are intense and by the second hour it seems like a nonstop action/adventure film filled near misses and explosions.
“Oblivion” has an interesting and dynamic musical score to accompany the visuals by M.8.3., a pop/rock group with composer Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Trapanese that really captures the ‘feel’ of what is going on. The movie really begins to take flight really in the second half of the film but it does have the widescreen epic motif that allows the audience to ask questions and just about almost all of them are answered. Others are not. Overall it’s a good film, but not something that will have a long standing in the theatres. I am sure it will work better on Blu Ray, because it is a little long-winded, but the visuals are stunning at times.