Oblivion had a lot of build up, so much so the movie often felt long, especially since a lot of it felt like exposition. That being said, it turns out the buildup, the character development, the time it took to make us and help us understand this world is ultimately what worked for this movie.

 

Oblivion
Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo

I’m just going to come out and say right now, I’m a fan of Tom Cruise…as an actor. As a performer he always delivers and Oblivion was no different. He is likeable as Jack Harper and relatable, playing a curious man who’s held back by his circumstances. The World has fallen into disrepair after a war with aliens called “Scavengers.” Though Earth won, the war left the planet unlivable and most of the population was relocated to another planet. Harper’s job is to repair drones that have been attacked by remaining Scavengers so that Central Command can collect Earths water and send it to the new planet.

See, the setup is great. It’s complicated, it’s thorough. You understand what’s going on and the story is well developed. It’s unfortunate that most of the backstory is explained with exposition, or voice over, or from other characters rather than shown to us. However, all this set up helps us care about Jack Harper and what happens to him.

His story is intriguing; especially when his world is turned upside down after finding out the very drones he had been protecting are killing humans — humans that somehow survived and didn’t get “relocated”. It’s too bad the other characters are overlooked for the sake of the high-concept story. Andrea Riseborough as Harper’s girlfriend is fantastic in the role, despite not having a fully fleshed out character, and Olga Kurylenko is as charming as ever. It’s just too bad the movie started to unravel in the last 20 minutes. It became sloppy and confusing, and rushed. While the beginning of the movie kept a deliberate pace, the ending was just a jumble of information that didn’t make sense and frankly lacked a proper climax.

I loved the twists and turns, they were unexpected and captivating, but that’s when the explanations stopped. Despite the inconsistencies, I still enjoyed Oblivion thanks to stunning visuals, post-apocalyptic themes, and Tom Cruise. You make love him, or you may love to hate him, but there’s no denying he’s one of a kind.

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

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