Oblivion (2013)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.

USA, 2013.  Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Monolith Pictures, Chernin Entertainment, Radical Studios.  Screenplay by , , based on the graphic novel original story by Joseph Kosinski.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , Joseph Kosinski, .  Music by , , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

It is years after a battle with aliens has destroyed life on planet earth, including destroying the moon, whose pieces hang in the sky like a spilled pile of pebbles, because apparently gravity is no longer a mastering force of the universe.  Tom Cruise plays a tech operator whose job is to scour the abandoned planet and fix the automated drones that patrol it for signs of enemies, while giant machines convert ocean water into energy used to help continue life on a faraway planet where surviving humans live. Days spent wandering the terrain while his partner and girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) patiently oversees everything from their home console go wonky when he comes into contact with both a mysterious figure from his past (Olga Kurylenko) and a horde of underworld-living Road Warrior types led by a wise old Morgan Freeman. From there, the ridiculous plot goes into predictable yet hard to follow twists as it liberally steals elements of The Matrix, Moon and a million other science-fiction stories, bolstered by a superb visual scheme but hampered by boring plotting and terrible dialogue. Cruise is commendable for staying looking so fit at the age of 50, but his insistence on keeping up the rebellious cocky young man persona looks ridiculous on him.  It’s not really youthful energy, it’s more like a person who insists on not benefiting from the wisdom that age provides, and as such dampens his charisma and provides for the most vapid performance of his career since Legend (he utters lines like “you should see the other guy” as if no one ever said it before).


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