Oblivion’s greatest strength is in its appearance; the Icelandic landscape lends the film an initial sense of power, desolation, and beauty, which it would otherwise struggle to acquire, and the designs of ships, architecture, and clothing are all pretty impressive. This all really works when drawing us in and creating the movie’s own world, it’s immersive and intriguing, and it’s an apocalyptic vision which I could believe in.
The plot also starts out pretty strong as we follow Jack (Tom Cruise) as he works with his partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) on monitoring the extraction of Earth’s remaining resources. The rest of the human race are living on Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) or are on route there, and Jack and Victoria are close to successfully ending their term and heading off to join them. However, Jack is plagued by the unanswered questions surrounding their mission, and then when the mysterious Julia (Olga Kurylenko) shows up, those questions start getting a whole lot more complex.
Now, this film has received more than its fair share of criticism due to its borrowing from a great number of other sci-fi movies. And it’s true, the plot does lose its strength as it goes on, and does fall into more generic territory compared to it’s opening half. However for me this wasn’t a massive problem. The criticisms are valid, but Oblivion had me entertained throughout, there was no instance where a copied idea spoilt the experience for me, and whilst I could guess several plot points ahead of their onscreen reveal, I didn’t find that that took too much away from my enjoyment of the film.
Oblivion is never going to become a science fiction masterpiece, but it succeeds well enough as an above average piece of entertainment, and whereas last year’s Prometheus reached so far that it collapsed in on itself, Oblivion pretty much hits the marks that it’s aiming at. It has decent performances given across the board, and whilst its characters aren’t as developed as I would like, they are passable.
All in all Oblivion is an entertaining movie that looks spectacular, has several decent action scenes, and which takes its initial premise and then shoots off into some pretty interesting directions. I would like to thank Keith over at Keith & the Movies for persuading me to finally go and see this one; I had a good time with it and was glad that I went! If you’re going to catch this one at some point, watch it in a theatre – the visuals alone demand that you do so.