Oblivion is a new science fiction film directed by Joseph Kosinski and stars Tom Cruise (Jack), Olga Kurylenko (Julia), Andrea Riseborough (Victoria), Morgan Freeman (Beech) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Sykes). Oblivion is a film about a technician called Jack (Tom Cruise) who must protect his zone from Scavs by repairing drones that repeatedly attack and scan the area for Scav activity. Jack and Victoria protect their sector well and are quite an effective team until one day Jack finds Julia (Olga Kurylenko) in a wreckage forcing him to question everything he knew about his life, his implanted memories for the mission and his relationship with Victoria. Jack’s life is not what it seemed to be….
Upon seeing this movie I had not known much about it or who directed it but in watching it I found myself thinking about Tron Legacy due to the styling and appearance of this film along with the music. It was not until later in writing for this review did I check to see and found that it was actually directed by the same director as Tron Legacy (Joseph Kosinski). Joseph Kosinski with this film has developed a very unique and identifiable image for his movie but you can see his markings as a director when comparing it to Tron, but this is a good thing especially if you enjoyed Tron Legacy.
One of the first things you’ll notice about this when watching is the lighting and visual experience you will have. Many scenes have a very distinct colour and appearance making them stand out on screen. A lot of white is used but is mixed well with oranges. blues and blacks to create a really distinct visual setting. This is important in a science fiction film as it’s necessary to create a realistic but also visually interesting futuristic world for the audience. This is a film that does its visual lighting effects well. For me this is the marking of a good science fiction piece, it is something distinctly identifiable upon first glance both visually and stylistically and Oblivion has this covered.
Apart from the visual and colour imagery there is of course the action scenes. I thought that these to were well done although they were what reminded me of Tron. The way Jack and the drones fly particularly in the chase scene due to they way they spin, move and fight felt reminiscent of Tron’s flying chase scenes. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s the only time in this movie where I felt I had seen something similar.
The movie does have quite a lot of action scenes but also a lot of scenes with just Tom Cruise for a while. There isn’t really anyone on the planet so many of the scenes are just one or two people, everything feels isolated. I found that in many of dialogue scenes such as particularly when Jack (Tom Cruise) was talking to Victoria (Andrea Risenborough) particularly slow especially for the beginning section of the film. I think due to the style, the memory wipes and all the drones along with AI themes of control made the characters very robotic in their expression particularly Victoria. So in long drawn out dialogue scenes the movie to me felt like it really slowed down in sections almost like characters interacted awkwardly with each other making them feel slightly unnatural.
Apart from the character expressions I thought the acting in the film was quite good from Tom Cruise, while Morgan Freeman had only a little presence in this film it was felt. I found Andrea Risenborough’s performance a bit questionable but it may be due to her character but she just seemed a bit robotic as a person, while Olga Kurylenko was okay for her part as well but both were easily outshone by Cruise and Freeman.
One thing this movie really had going for it was the great theatrical soundtrack that is contained within the film. There is a sense of immersion between the scenes and the music as it moulds together creating quite an enjoyable viewing experience. The music for Oblivion is done by M83 and really brings to Oblivion a distinct movie experience. The music mixed in with the visual scenery make Oblivion worth watching at the cinema’s particularly if you are a science fiction fanatic.
As always with the science fiction genre there are all types of plot twist and interesting themes and insertions to keep the viewer guessing. Without spoiling it Oblivion has all of these and for the most part I thought that the plot was quite good all together. I did think the movie could have ended slightly better by cutting it possibly 2 minutes at the end and finishing it. For me in the end it was the ending plot in the final minutes that stopped this movie from being something rather great and instead making it just something good.
Overall I really did enjoy Oblivion, it was a good fun experience. In watching it you get a good science fiction story. With all the comic book movies dominating the cinema recently in viewing Oblivion I felt was a welcome change. The plot is interesting enough to keep viewers guessing with some good twists and turns and the directing is fantastic. It also had a great soundtrack and action scenes as well. Oblivion is a good film with only a few shortcomings but one that is enjoyable nevertheless.