Neither a visual extravaganza nor a triumph in the story department, the sci-fi film Oblivion is one more mediocre Hollywood flick that few will remember, or care to remember, by Wednesday.
The occasional sniggers in the hall were indicative of the surly mood of the 35-40 viewers who had trooped in for the late night show of this post-apocalyptic film starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough and Morgan Freeman.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski based on his unpublished novel, Oblivion never made an emotional, gee whiz or any kind of connection with yours truly.
Yet another movie where less than compelling computer-generated gimmickry supersedes good old fashioned story telling and, no surprise, fails to deliver on the promise of an entertaining two-hours.
White space ships whoosh around.
White drones keep firing.
White motorbikes hurtle down the sandy landscape.
And Tom Cruise in a white space-suit with two white guns (long and short) does what he does best, straps himself into an aircraft and zips about at Mach speed.
Perhaps there was a good reason why director Kosinski’s novel remained unpublished. 😉
The year is 2077.
Earth is a vast, dreary wasteland, emptied of its seven billion inhabitants.
A destructive alien attack on the moon five decades earlier has wrought calamity on Earth by way of earthquakes and tsunamis. The half of Earth not destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis is turned into a radiation wasteland by a subsequent nuclear strike.
Earth’s survivors have forsaken the planet and left en masse for Titan, a moon of Saturn.
The desolate underpopulated wasteland is now merely a water source for the survivors living on Titan.
Just two Earthlings remain to mop up things, and they live high up in the atmosphere in a space station like structure – Drone repairman Jack Harper (Tm Cruise) and his colleague/lover Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), the communications specialist in contact with the command center at Titan.
Although his memories have been completely “wiped,” Jack keeps dreaming of a woman (Olga Kurylenko) who was with him at the top of the Empire State Building.
There’s little that’s engaging so far and far too little meat about the aliens that were the cause of all the destruction.
Burdened by a ho-hum script and less than captivating photography, this apology of a sci-fi movie plods on, testing the patience of the viewer.
Even after we learn, more than half way through the film, that none of the principal characters (Jack and Victoria and Sally and Julia and the “Scavs”) are what they seem it still fails to give the jolt the film desperately needs to get out of its torpor.
It’s hard for the viewer to get involved with such wearisome stuff!
Neither of the two girls show any great passion in their performances.
Bond girl Olga Kurylenko does not have a single acting bone in her lithe frame. But show me which Bond girl did.
British actress Andrea Riseborough seems like she’s in a robotic trance all the time, even when she sheds her clothes and invites Tom Cruise for a quickie in the high altitude swimming pool.
Director Kosinski keeps Morgan Freeman mostly invisible.
We’ve never been great fans of Tom Cruise’s acting skills such as they are. A solid script could, perhaps, camouflage his limitations, but an engaging story is nowhere in sight here.
At the end of it, the gimmickry of the computer-generated high altitude flying, the chases at Mach speed, the shoot-outs with the drones and the ultimate sacrifice of Cruise and Freeman at the end amount to nothing more than a painfully slow tick-tock of the clock for the viewer.