Joseph Kosinski’s science fiction film Oblivion is a visually marvelous experience.
The story takes place in 2077 after a devastating war on Earth, making it uninhabitable. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a technician who a company has sent back to Earth to service multiple drones. The current use of those drones is to fight against remaining extraterrestrials. Over time he starts to have memories of a previous life he may have had before the war.
All around the acting is great. Tom Cruise’s performance is very entertaining and believable as Jack. He seems like the type of person you can imagine who can repair all of the drones. Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) is also solid, as Jack’s partner in cleaning up all of the wreckage. Finally, you have Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman) the leader of a final remaining human group. Being there to give Jack an explanation of what happened during the war from the other perspective.
The composers Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Trapanese create a truly memorable score. That perfectly fits the film’s tone of suspense and makes the action sequences even more thrilling.
The film captures Future Earth gorgeously with the use of state of the art visual effects. This is especially evident in the unique landscapes. Jack’s house is so tall it reaches the clouds and mist surrounding the many grey deserts. The film also spreads famous landmarks around the environment. It makes it seem all the more real that it was once inhabited by humanity.
There are some visual similarities to Kosinski’s directorial debut, Tron: Legacy. But these get a little lost in the second act in favor of repeatedly explaining some very complex plot points. It borrows many story themes from other films. There are a lot of familiar themes in the film. And at a runtime of slightly over two hours, it still could have heavily benefited from being a little longer. So it could have fleshed out some of its more ambitious ideas better.
The script has its shortcomings. But what really resonated though is what the film says about the future of where the human race is going. How technology is advancing enough to replace humans doing missions humans usually do. And how the world could look in the future if humans have to evacuate the planet. Specifically, the many types of buildings and physical ruins that would still be standing all these decades later.
On March 26th, 2013, Universal Pictures released Oblivion in theaters on a budget of one hundred and twenty million dollars. It made a slight profit of three hundred and two million dollars worldwide. Unfortunately, Oblivion flew mostly under the radar. That’s because there were many other big science fiction movies were coming out that year. Big titles like Star Trek into Darkness, Elysium, Gravity and Ender’s Game overshadowed the film.
Certain story elements towards the end of Oblivion are a little convoluted. But it is a captivating visual marvel that you will want to revisit multiple times to come.
- Rated: PG-13
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Release Date: 4/19/2013
- Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
- Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Olga Kurylenko, tom cruise, Zoe Bell
- Produced by: Barry Levine, Duncan Henderson, Dylan Clark, Joseph Kosinski, Peter Chernin
- Written by: Joseph Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt
- Studio: Universal