Oblivion – Review (Spoiler Free)

Oblivion Movie PosterOblivion’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.

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31 comments

  1. Fantastic! Really glad you enjoyed this. You summed it up nicely, it’s not reinventing the wheel but it’s visually stunning and quite enjoyable. I’m kinda anxious to watch it again.

    1. Yeah, thanks again for convincing me to go!
      I would like to see it again, I doubt I would buy it, but I will probably rent it at some point in the future. Would have to be on Blu-Ray though!

  2. Great review. You were much nicer than I was but we pretty much feel the same way about it. I think you’ve maybe convinced me that I was a little too critical of it, actually. 😉 Not an all-time classic but entertaining enough.

    1. Thank you! Haha, glad that I could convince you to look upon this one a little more favorably. It does seem to have been hit with some rather harsh reviews!

      1. It’s Tom Cruise’s fault… 🙂

        1. Haha, he may have had a certain amount of influence on it!

  3. Great review, James! I myself enjoyed the visuals, the Predator-Darth Vader prodigal children (a.k.a. The Scavs) and the incredible if awfully familiar soundtrack. Keep it up, man.

    1. Cheers man! Very true about The Scavs, I also thought that they had a touch of Tusken Raider to them.
      The soundtrack was awesome but – Hans Zimmer alert!!

  4. Awesome stuff man! The reviews are all over the place! Glad you had a chance to go out and see it.

    1. Cheers, they really are! It was really hard figuring out who to believe 😀

  5. Something makes me feel as if I’ve seen this movie about a hundred times before, and I think I have. Oh yeah, it’s called Moon! Good review Rumsey.

    1. Haha, I can’t argue against that!
      Thanks 😀

  6. […] Filmographer, Fogs’ Movie Reviews, flixchatter, Keep It Reel Reviews, Keith and the Movies, Mr Rumsey’s Film Related Musings, PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews, The Phi Phenomenon, Rorschach Reviews, Terry Malloy’s Pigeon […]

  7. I am glad someone is sticking up for the film. I’m not gonna see this at the cinema, but will gladly watch it on rental/streaming when it’s released. Great review!

    1. Thank you, that sounds like a good idea!

  8. Nice review! I thought this was pretty standard blockbuster science fiction fare – decent but nothing spectacular. It does look incredible though and I love the setting for the whole thing but I just thought much of it was pretty shallow. Take the relationship with Kurylenko and Cruise, for instance; I didn’t care one bit about either of them.

    1. Thank you! It is a little shallow, and I agree that their relationship wasn’t particularly deep and it didn’t exactly emotionally involve me. However I still thought it was entertaining enough for what it was.

  9. Natalie P · · Reply

    Interesting review 🙂

    1. Thank you, do you think you will ever see it?

  10. Natalie P · · Reply

    If someone had it on DVD I’d probably be interested, but I’m unlikely to pay to see it.

    1. Yeah fair enough. I wouldn’t particularly recommend going out and buying a copy.

  11. Yay you liked it, I clearly loved it and I welcome new supporters haha 😀

    1. Haha, I’m pleased to be on the your side for this one. It’s really interesting reading all the different opinions going around!

      1. Yeah I have heard every view on the horizon for this film, but we liked it and that’s all that really matters in the end 😀

        1. It certainly is! Did you see Chris’s Oblivion graph over at FilmHipster?

          1. Yeah that was great, so evenly divided 😀

        2. Yeah it was pretty neat to see it all presented like that 😀

  12. You know my one criticism of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World? That was all over this. There were so many points where a beautiful, poignant or clever moment was utterly ruined by a character – usually Tom Cruise – giving unnecessary dialogue that I ended up hardly able to enjoy the film. Every time something subtle almost happens, it’s like the film hits you over the head with it. & I also feel like the movie was too Hellbent on twists to just, like, let itself flow. In the end, the only thing I could give this was its visuals, especially the first 10 or so minutes. But even in terms of the visuals, there’s some pretty generic stuff – like that white Apple future that’s in everything.

    1. Yeah you make good points but I still thought that it was decent for what it set itself up as. I went in expecting something of a dumb sci-fi action movie, and I thought it had good action in it, but also made some sort of attempt to give an engaging storyline and characters to care about – although I thought that it rather failed at the character writing part in the end.
      I rather like that Apple future look so… didn’t bother me!

  13. Initially I was going to see this one for Nikolaj Coster Waldau, but then I read he has 5 minutes of screentime so I’ll just wait for the DVD 🙂 Great to see Andrea Riseborough in such a big project, though, she is very talented.

    1. Yeah he isn’t around much at all. Catching it on DVD isn’t a bad idea 🙂
      I haven’t seen Riseborough in much but I’ve been impressed with what little I’ve seen. I’m certainly going to be looking out for her in the future.

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