Monday, May 6, 2013
Oblivion - Movie Review
Starring Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Directed by Joseph Kosinski.
This movie reminded me of three other sci-fi movies. One was Wall-E, and the other two I don't want to mention simply because it'd give away some second-half developments if I did.
Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a technician working clean-up crew on Earth in 2077. A long time ago, or a few years from now, some aliens destroyed the Earth's moon, and it killed half the planet. Then the aliens invaded, so the countries of the world launched their nukes. Now the Earth is a wasteland, and most of humanity that has survived has moved to Titan, one of Saturn's moons. Meanwhile there's a giant triangular space-station in the sky called the Tet that overseas the conversion of Earth's ocean-water to fusion energy. Once the water's dried up, the Tet and the last of humanity will abandon Earth for good.
Jack and his partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are the only two humans on Earth's surface (or are they?) and each morning, he goes out to repair the drones that protect the fusion converters from the "Scavs", the aliens left behind that steal or sabotage any machinery they can find.
Jack flies the ship; Victoria serves as eyes-and-ears back home, and she then relays any information to Mission Control, played with a suspiciously honeyed accent by Melissa Leo.
Here's a catch though: Jack and Victoria had their memory wiped before their five-year mission. If they ever captured by the Scavs, they'll have no information to be pried out of them.
All of this is fine and good. The movie takes its time with setting up the world and the rules. Jack puts on his uniform each day to go fly; Victoria puts on her dress and heels before she mans her desk. Since the air is breathable, I wondered why Jack wore his uniform, and as for Victoria, wouldn't she do her job in pajamas most days?
Now everyone who saw the preview knows that Morgan Freeman will show up eventually and the twists will begin. I think it's just before the halfway mark when he lights his cigar in the dark to show Jack that he's not the last man on Earth after all.
This movie has more twists, none of which are surprising, but it's still a pleasurable experience because the story is told so well. So if you go to see Iron Man 3 and it's sold out, this isn't a bad alternative.