Friday, April 19, 2013
In “Oblivion” you get two Tom Cruises for the price of one. You get the actor who is accessible, likeable, the guy next door and you get the man of action. He comes through for fans of both and might even bring in a few more who are looking for a fast moving film with looks of what the future might be. The only problem I have, and which I have with many sci-fi movies, is that I need the “Big Bang” guys or Trekkies to explain the last half hour to tell me what it was all about.
Earth has lost a war in 2077 and most of the citizens have been moved to a planet called Titan. Jack Harper’s (Tom Cruise) mind has been wiped of past memories though a few seep through for a second of Julie (Olga Kurylenko) a woman he remembers but doesn’t know exactly why. He has been paired with Vika (Andrea Riseborough) as part of a perfect team and are monitored by Sally (Melissa Leo) a Southern talking TV image. Jack’s job is repairing drones and searching for any ‘scavengers’, people still living on Earth, before he and Vika retire to Titan.
Without going into spoilers Morgan Freeman and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, as head of a group of scavengers, capture Julie and Jack which is when they start to lose me. One thing I do like about films that take place in the future is how the filmmaker pictures it. In 2077 the motorcycles, drones, helicopters not to forget their all clear plastic and glass home referred to as Skytower with a swimming pool that will have you talking, as will the nude swimming scene, are a part of the future we can imagine.
Cruise, about to turn 51, works hard to keep his body in shape and while men will be jealous of his near nude scenes women will appreciate it. As their girlfriends sigh over Cruise the men will keep their feelings to themselves regarding Kurylenko and Riseborough, if they are smart.
“Oblivion” is visual candy in the landscapes, shots of recognizable parts of the USA buried in sand or lush parts that somehow managed to escape what happened to the planet. There are action scenes, perhaps one too many, for the guys and enough Tom eye candy for the women. All in all it is a visual experience thanks to the production crew and director Joseph Kosinski but now if I can only get the screenwriters Karl Gajdusek and Michael DeBruyn, (or you), to explain the last 40 minutes I would appreciate it much more.