Sunday, April 21, 2013

Oblivion Review

At the end of last year, the Mayan calendar ended. There was a lot of people that thought this meant the world was going to end. And while this past week's tragedy in Boston proved once again that we have a lot of messed up people in this world, nevertheless the world is still here and yet another end of world prophesy turned out to be a false alarm. Why do I bring that up? Well, the Mayan calendar didn't end the world, but what it did do was inspire a lot of filmmakers to make end of the world or post apocalyptic movies. Already this year we have had Warm Bodies start this fad off. And if you count The Croods, that's two (in the Croods, the movie is about a caveman family whose former world is ending, so it kinda fits in). March also brought us two take over the White House movies (Olympus Has Fallen and GI Joe: Retaliation), which is also kinda similar, so we definitely have a huge theme in Hollywood this year and these style of movies have only begun as there is quite the slate of them later on. If we narrow this field down strictly to sci-fi post-apocalyptic and avoid for a second the zombie apocalypse, end of the world comedies, and white house takeovers, we have three major movies this year. Number one is Oblivion, number two is After Earth, and number three is Elysium. While Will Smith and Matt Damon will get there spotlight with After Earth and Elysium respectively later this year (May and August), right now it is time to talk about Tom Cruise's Oblivion.

Oblivion is a movie that I didn't go in with extremely high expectations as oftentimes these post-apocalyptic movies all seem to be pretty much the same movie. However, I did go in expecting to have a good time because it seemed like a fun action sci-fi movie and I do enjoy Tom Cruise as an actor, especially in his recent movie Jack Reacher. What happened, though, is I was thrown off quite a bit as this movie had a several intriguing twists to it and I also found my self rather enjoying the movie. What is it about? Ummm... well. As Tom Cruise's character explains early in the movie, we are 60 years into the future. There was a big war in which aliens attacked the earth. The humans won, but most of the planet was destroyed and so humans had to evacuate. Jack and Victoria (Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough) are currently there essentially stationed as maintenance workers for the droids that are left behind. That right there is just scratching the surface in the movie, but yet I'm not going to go any further. Something happens with one of them and then that one finds another thing and a certain chain of events leads up to something else then a certain thing happens that makes you confused and blown away at the same time and sometime along those lines we somehow meet Morgan Freeman's and Olga Kurylenko's characters (the trailer and advertising give that away...) and then you think it's about to end but it just keeps going and more things happen and now as you are reading this you are just confused as I ramble on about vagueness and confusion. Moral of the story is that this is one of those movies that you really need to go into knowing as little as possible in order to get the complete experience. So don't let your friends spoil it and don't read into it too much before you go see it.

Let me now go away from that plotline and talk about specific elements of the movie. First off the score of the movie completely blew me away. I loved it! It made the movie seem extremely intense and interesting, even when Jack and Victoria are awkwardly making out while skinny-dipping in their pool (not much seen in terms of nudity). The movie was also a visual masterpiece. The destroyed earth looked fantastic and the futuristic flying machines, droids, and motorcycles looked fantastic and there were a lot of fun and smart action scenes. This was not a comedy, but there were a couple elements of humor subtly thrown in that were brilliant. I mean when you are flying around on earth all day alone, wouldn't you totally want a bobble-head of yourself to talk to? Also, the acting in the movie by everyone I thought was great. Tom Cruise was fantastic as always and so were Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, and Morgan Freeman. This was just a well casted movie. Now jumping back into vagueness for a bit, there was a lot of people that had complaints about the ending as well as plot holes throughout. First off, this movie does end up leaving a bunch of things open to interpretation and lets you fill in the gaps with your own imagination and I really liked that. If you need to have every single detail about everything that is happening spelled out to you, well you may not like this movie. Also if you think about the logistics of some of the things that happen, you may find the movie really dumb, but come on guys. This is a science-fiction movie, with emphasis on the FICTION part of that. All the details about the aliens and what they do and whatnot aren't necessarily supposed to make perfect sense according to real-life scientific discoveries. And if you are complaining about such small details like why is Morgan Freeman's character wearing black sunglasses the whole movie while no one else is or how did he come across a cigar after 60 years, then you really need to get a life as that is just pulling at straws in finding fault with this movie.

Overall, this is a fun and entertaining science-fiction movie that I think is well worth your time and money. It will throw you for a curve and keep your attention the whole time. No, you won't walk out of the theater with your mind completely blown like in such movies as Inception or The Prestige. And once you sort out in your mind what exactly happened, you won't necessarily think this is smartest or best movie ever made, but I really had a lot of fun with it and I think you will too. I give Oblivion an 8 out of 10.

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