What would it be like to be the maintenance man on an abandoned planet?
Jack is a fixer. Jack has no memory of his life before he took his mission. He only knows that the Earth was abandoned after the aliens attacked. Humanity fought them off but ruined the planet in the process. Now he flies around his little corner of Earth in a private flying craft and fixes the armed drones that protect him and his company’s giant resource collecting monoliths from the mysterious alien scavengers left on the planet’s surface. Jack’s only companion is Victoria, who gives him missions and looks over him from their tower in the clouds. Soon they will leave Earth and join the rest of humanity on a far off moon, once the monoliths have taken enough of the planet’s energy to sustain the trip. However their plans are changed when Jack saves a woman from a crashed escape pod and begins to question the mission.
Director Joseph Kosinski, whose previous credits are Tron: Legacy and two beautiful commercials for Halo 3 and Gears of War video games, has said that he wanted “Oblivion” to be a tribute to 1970’s sci-fi movies. That is precisely how I felt while watching it, although it was hard to put a finger on it until a character mentioned venturing into the Radioactive Waste Zone that I noticed a clear homage to Planet of the Ape’s Forbidden Zone. The film stars Tom Cruise as Jack, Andrea Riseborough as Victoria, Olga Kurylenko as Julia (the mysterious woman in the escape pod), and Morgan Freeman even shows up but I don’t want to ruin the plot even if the trailers do.
While a perfectly adequate science-fiction movie, “Oblivion” suffers a bit from it’s run-time. I feel as if they could have trimmed a good 20-30 minutes off of it and I would have enjoyed it more. Even though it stayed a little past it’s welcome, the movie contained enough stunning visuals to entertain this viewer. Also worth noting was the very Tron: Legacy-esque soundtrack by M83. When the movie would occasionally bore me, I would be entertained by its score’s techno booms and blasts.
If you’re in the need for a entertaining science-fiction flick, “Oblivion” is a perfectly acceptable candidate for your time.