Sunday, April 21, 2013

Oblivion - Movie Review

Long time action star Tom Cruise is back with Oblivion, a science fiction movie that pushes the boundaries of what is capable for filmmakers to put on a movie screen. Director Joseph Kosinski follows up his debut effort, Tron: Legacy while Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, and Olga Kurylenko round out the cast.

Jack (Cruise) and Victoria (Riseborough) have been told they are the last two people on Earth and have been placed there to maintain and protect gigantic machines that are healing the planet from the nuclear holocaust which helped the human race win a war against invading aliens. Having gone about their jobs for several years, they are coming up on the end of their mission which will see them returning to Titan, a moon that contains the last remaining human population.

While performing their duties effectively, the two have grown close although Jack has been haunted by dreamlike memories of what he is beginning to think might be a former life. Victoria doesn't seem to suffer from any such delusions as she is intent on completing their mission so they can be on their way. After one of the protection drones they are tasked with maintaining goes missing, Jack ends up making a few discoveries that throw more doubt on his already tormented mind and sets up an adventure that could change the fate of the entire planet.

Do you love a good science fiction story? Do you wish there were more movies in the genre that went all in rather than telling a more mainstream story while throwing in a few random special effects here and there? It seems like filmmaking has finally reached a point where any story can be told without being confined by technical limitations. Oblivion just happens to be a non stop visual treat that doesn't pull any punches when it comes to telling an intricate story without feeling the need to appeal to every ticket buying demographic.

The fact that Tom Cruise is the star of this movie will most likely determine your level of enjoyment as he is still a rather polarizing figure that people either really like or want nothing to do with. For my part, I've always liked his ability to pull off movies like these and he still has no problem stepping into the hero role even if he doesn't possess the acting chops to completely become the character as much as I'd like.

As far as the rest of the cast, you may remember Olga Kurylenko from her turn in Quantum of Solace and she is just as enchanting on screen now as she was then. While I don't know that I have ever seen Andrea Riseborough in anything before, I was very happy with her performance as co-star to Cruise and she ends up becoming a very intriguing character by the time the story concludes. Morgan Freeman, on the other hand, was a strange bit of casting, but its hard to complain about him being in any movie so its something you just roll with.

When I first sat down to watch Oblivion, I was hopeful that it would work well as a science fiction action vehicle for Mr. Cruise and would end up at least being mildly entertaining. What I ended up watching was a thrilling action movie that took full advantage of also being a big time science fiction story. Kosinsky dazzled when he took audiences back to the virtual game grid in Tron: Legacy and with this new effort he is proving to be quite a formidable player when it comes to blockbuster special effects movies. Go watch this movie on the biggest screen you can find so you can marvel at the amazing visuals as well as a story that is surprisingly complex and much better than you're expecting it to be.

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