Rant and Rave: ‘Oblivion’

Back with more science sci-fi action, director and computer graphics expert Joseph Kosinski topped the box office this week with his latest film, Oblivion.

The year is 2077. Planet Earth is ravaged by titanic natural disasters caused by the moon’s destruction, and a deadly nuclear war against the Scavengers or “Scavs”, an alien race trying to take the Earth for their own. The human race, after winning the war, evacuates and builds a colony on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, as the war left their world uninhabitable. This setting is quite different from Kosinski’s big screen directorial debut in Tron: Legacy.

The film, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, gives viewers a look into the world of Jack Harper (Cruise), a soldier and repairman whose memory was wiped out five years ago. He is tasked to protect the extraction of the Earth’s remaining resources for use in the human colony up in Titan and repair the drones that help him protect it. After a pod carrying dormant astronauts crashes into Earth, he starts to question his placement on the destroyed world and, with the help of Malcolm Beech (Freeman) and one of the astronauts, he soon finds out what really happened to him and his beloved home, good ol’ planet Earth.

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

The film has many enjoyable attributes. The concept of the whole film (which will not be revealed) gives new life to the done to death story of “Aliens invading Earth”. It is a welcome change of pace from movies that tend to repeat plots from old science fiction films. While the film provides much sci-fi action, it lacks in general substance. The film banks on the knowledge of hardcore sci-fi fans, paying homage to the classic elements of science fiction in the 1970s while forgetting the fact that many viewers would not understand the scenes without prior knowledge. Mixing classic sci-fi elements with a modern, edgy application gives Oblivion this unique but lacking state. Sadly, the story doesn’t hold very well, which probably explains why the graphic novel the movie was based on remains unpublished to this day.

Blasting drones and shooting menacing aliens were some of the many things Oblivion had to offer. Though not filled to the brim with action sequences, the movie does have its fair share of laser shooting fun and is sure to keep moviegoers awake or at the very least prevent them from dozing off because of the film’s relatively slow pace.

It can be said that the special effects are everything when it comes to features like this as it not only entices viewers to be attentive to the story but also supplements the film as a whole. As far as Oblivion goes, the special effects were fantastic. The drones in the film were very life-like as were the Infrastructures. The way they generated the landscape was done with such craftsmanship as well.

If there are pros to this movie, then there are the cons as well, and a plethora of them. First, the movie tends to give off a repetitive vibe. Scenes of course are different from each other, although some give off a feeling of Déjà vu. This is probably due to the fact that some scenes have repetitive elements while others just have that feel, which makes the movie less enticing as it goes on.

Though the acting of some like Morgan Freeman and Andrea Riseborough were great some of the cast were average at best. Tom Cruise seemed like he could barely hold on to his character. Olga Kurylenko, who plays Julia, didn’t do so well either when it came to portraying the downed astronaut. Acting wise, the cast did well but not well enough to impress.

Though lacking in many things, Oblivion does not lack in plot twists. Though sometimes vague, the surprises just keep on coming. Film viewers, however, have to be vigilant because they may not know that these big story turners had even happened, due to unclear dialogue in very important parts of the film.

For the most part, the film was also dragging. The concept might have proved too unique and fresh; the execution, however, could have been better. It seems a tad boring to say the least. It isn’t something people should spend on if they are expecting a blockbuster feature. They should watch The Croods instead.

Overall, Oblivion may give viewers a sense of the near future, if in the future alien hobos decide to attack the planet. With all its action sequences and its futuristic technology, this is a movie to watch if one were into that sort of thing, Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, or if boredom strikes at home. It is, however, not recommended for those who expect it to be a totally amazing experience, because it is just slightly average. And though the movie obliterated most of its competitors in the week in ticket sales, in the end, this wouldn’t be the movie you’d want to watch with your partner before you depart for another planet.

Rating: 2.25
Patrick Ong

By Patrick Ong

Roy Loyola Jr.

By Roy Loyola Jr.

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