Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oblivion - My Review

Oblivion  -  2013  -  Directed by Joseph Kosinski

It is the year 2077. An alien invasion has left Earth uninhabitable and the remaining survivors live on Titan. A lone drone repairman, Jack (Tom Cruise), stays on Earth with his assistant and lover Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), in order to extract the remaining resources. A radio beacon leads them to a downed spacecraft. When Jack searches the rubble it causes him to begin asking questions about his mission.

That is the setup for the new film from Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. I didn't think much of Kosinski after his first film but upon seeing this visually stunning film I am intrigued to see his next.

The plot, which isn't much and at times is befuddling, is really just an excuse to showcase the visual mastery of Kosinski. He creates a Earth populated by barren landscapes filled with drones and spaceships and towering houses with glass bottomed pools that would scare me into never going in the water.

Cruise is exactly what the picture calls for. A true movie star who understands what that is and how to play to the camera and audience and keeps the proceedings from becoming to dull. His Jack is a soldier who does as told but begins to ask himself questions when he keeps having the same recurring dream but can't remember anything else about his life. There are costars (Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Riseborough, Melissa Leo) but this is all Cruise and Kosinski.

When Jack discovers the secrets to his life and that of the invasion it is true that it is a letdown as it wasn't rocket science to figure it out before the film revealed it. However, it doesn't matter. This is not a movie about plot: its about style.  (I'm actually a little surprised when I hear critics and audience members say the plot is too confusing as it is minimalist at best.) Kosinki presents a film with a distinct look and feel and Cruise gives us a worthy protagonist to root for. I am not usually a fan of Sci-Fi but Oblivion entertained me for its full two hours. In today's world of film, that in and of itself is an accomplishment.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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