Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Oblivion (2013)

Directed by Joseph Kosinski

Starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough

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Visionary sci-fi derived from, or perhaps in homage to, a long list of classic and recent sci-fi movies. We have the familiar plot twists and moral issues of cloning from Solaris and Moon. The pods are reminiscent of David Bowman’s module in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and there’s a creepy, Kubrick-like symmetry to the shots and architecture. Countless Planet of the Apes themes and plot points and images. The score is reminiscent of Vangelis’ for Blade Runner. And overall, the movie has much of the same feel as Kosinski’s own TRON: Legacy.

An interesting story. Nice, contemplative pacing sets the moon and draws you in. Wonderful effects create a world that is entirely believable and beautiful, despite the devastation.

A small, quality cast. Cruise is good. He’s probably got one of the best “intense” faces in history. Riseborough offers a creepy, beautiful sterility, much like Natascha McElhone in Solaris. She’s good in the role, but I might have preferred a more familiar face. Diane Kruger and Kate Beckinsale were considered.

A few plot questions, though. Tet became inaccessible to the humans every night as it swung around the planet. Why? Certainly the technology to remain in communication would have been available. What’s the benefit of going offline? If the humans wanted Jack on their team, why remain dressed as scavs and scare him half to death? And if my knowledge of physics is correct, the slight dispersion of matter caused by the exploding moon would not significantly affect it’s gravitational influence on Earth and certainly would not cause all the volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis described in the movie. How do Jack and Victoria survive in the clouds without altitude sickness? Perhaps the technology of the future has found a cure for it.

As director, producer, writer, this was completely Kosinski’s baby, and I’m impressed. Very curious to see what he does next.

One Comment

  1. Cruise performed well. Was surprised by Riseborough performance she did well. I actually like that less known actress in this role. Olga…well Olga was Olga, smoking hot! Wish there were more parts with Freeman and Coster-Waldau (aka the King Slayer) A really enjoyable movie. I thought it started off slow but it told a story even for a sci-fi. Visual masterpiece and kudos to the little known Kosinksi. I actually enjoyed Tron and now this so hopefully he can keep up the good work. I even took it a step further and had a chance to listen to more of the soundtrack by M83, good stuff.

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