25 Apr 2013


I talk a lot on this blog about the failure of new and innovative stories to make it to our cinemas. Often the studios rely on sequels, remakes, and now the re-release of previously successful movies in 3D to release as a secure return on their investment.

But this is not always the case. Talented writers and directors are out there trying to bring  new stories to us. New books, short stories, graphic novels and old stories previously thought to be too difficult to film are being made.  Unfortunately though, they do seem to be the minority.

Thus when something fresh comes along it is important to investigate. I don't know anyone that had seen Oblivion or knew anything about it. I suspect there is a lot of reservation because Tom Cruise is in the title role. I don't have the hate on for Tom as other people do, which makes this choice a bit easier.


It is 2077 and Earth went to war with an alien race known only as the 'Scavengers'. The Scavengers travel through space like locusts stripping worlds of all their resources before moving on.  Earth won the war against the scavengers, but at great cost. The Scavengers destroyed the moon, and that caused global devastation. Earth was ruined. Humanity is deserting Earth and making a new home on Titon.
Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are part of the final clean up crew. They run maintenance for the robotic drones who hunt out the remaining scavengers.  Soon it will be time for Jack and Victoria to leave Earth forever and join the colonists. But as their mission comes to a close, Jack questions leaving his home.

The easiest way to describe  Oblivion  is as a triumphant return of science fiction.  Prometheus, Ghosts of Mars, Tron Legacy, Aliens versus Predator are examples of bloody nails in sci fi fans dreams for decent stories to be made. Fans of science fiction films like me who drag their partners to sci fi films like these in the hope of seeing a gdecent movie, can find ourselves apologising and promising that not all sci fi films are arse.

Don't get me wrong Oblivion probably won't win any Oscars, but it was really enjoayble.  The story is interesting and like any good science fiction story it raises a couple of questions about our humanity. It was nicely paced and director Joseph Kosinski has certainly redeemed himself after Tron Legacy. There is a degree of cheese, but not enough to ruin the film.

The cast is small , but they are all do a solid job. I thought Tom Cruise was fine, he played his role, and didn't annoy me or my friends. Morgan Freeman as always stole the show.  Andrea Riseborough, who you may know from  Brighton Rock  probably gave the strongest performance as Cruises partner and lover Victoria.

We have all seen depictions of the Earth, and particularly the US after an apocalypse. But Oblivion some how manages makes the terrain of post war Earth seem new and interesting. And Oblivion also has some gentle nods to 2001:A Space Odyssey. The style of the base, the drones, even Jack's exercise machine are all reminiscent of Kubrick's classic. I found these little touches to be entertaining and added a nice touch to the film.

Oblivion isn't going to be the stand out movie of the year, but it is entertaining and fun. It is certainly a solid endorsement that the science fiction genre is alive and well.

Seven Monkeys from me


  1. Now I want to see it. Damn you! ;-)

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