'Oblivion' (2013) - Film Review

Updated on April 13, 2018

Director: Joseph Kosinsky

Starring: Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko & Morgan Freeman

Those pesky alien invaders are always stirring up trouble for Earth. This time around they've surpassed themselves by destroying most of the Moon, wreaking havoc with our weather system and then forcing us to use nuclear weapons to beat them. It's no surprise then that mankind have decided to move house, with their hearts set on a lovely little place called Titan. But first, there's a bit of administration to take care of. In preparation for leaving Earth, Cruise and Riseborough are tasked with maintaining Earth's robotic sentries and defending several water purification plants against the few leftover alien scavengers, "Scavs," who won't admit defeat. It's a fairly isolated job, and Tom spends most of his day flying around in a super-neat helicopter-cum-spaceship, repairing equipment, killing scavs, and collecting little artifacts from Earth's history. You see, unlike the rest of the humans waiting to leave for Titan, Mr. Cruise seems to harbour a strange attraction to Earth's past, and what's more, keeps dreaming about meeting a woman at the Empire State Building—even though it was years before he was born. Is there something wrong with him, or is it everyone else?

Kosinsky's directorial follow-up to the excellent Tron: Legacy finds him firmly in science-fiction dystopian territory, and just like the efforts of the 60s/70s (Logan's Run, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, THX 1138), the theme of "one man at odds with his present" is always appealing. If you read deeply enough, there's definitely a profound social commentary going on, mirroring our contemporary hopes and fears about life. But on an entertainment level, this film still delivers the goods. The cinematography and sets are awesome, and Cruise's delicate performance is top-notch (his reaction when he gives Riseborough a flower is filled with subtle emotion). Despite their isolated existence, the two leads are not entirely alone, with limited support from Kurylenko (the woman in his dreams) and Freeman who pops up later in the movie unnecessarily wearing sunglasses indoors.

Oblivion carries a minimalistic magnetism for the viewer. Not much really happens, but it's enthralling from start to finish and this keeps it fresh right to the end. The attention to realism is certainly a benefit. Despite being set in the future, the fantastic technology used is always functional to the story without becoming its chief benefactor. Some reviewers have unfairly given mediocre ratings because of the minimalism and similarities to those other 1970s classics, but they are missing the point. The best science fiction films are not about emulating the past or portraying the future...they are always a commentary on the present. This film, in my opinion, does just that. It's imaginative multilayered entertainment with a great ending, and great science fiction to boot.

4 stars for OBLIVION (2013)

© 2018 Chris Sandles

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)