Sunday, April 21, 2013


Tom Cruise seems to have the Midas Touch.  Although ROCK OF AGES was a bust in 2012, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL (2011) and JACK REACHER (2012) definitely helped him pay the bills.  OBLIVION, although not a great film as far as I'm concerned, will most definitely help that bank account build.  OBLIVION had quite a bit of hype in movie trailers, magazine articles, and I'm assuming television as well (I don't watch tv much so I'm reaching on that one.)  If you've seen the trailers and this was impossible not to do if you have gone to see any movie in the last six months, you know the premise of the movie.  Jack Harper lives in a post-apocolyptic world where he is responsible for repairing "drones."  His beautiful partner Victoria, played by Andrea Riseborough, has his back at all times.  Jack's memories and dreams, however, haunt him.  A beautiful woman is with him in his dreams and flashbacks and appear to be from a different time; a happy time before "the war."  As the question of reality is slowly answered, Jack finds himself in a position that jeopardizes his current status and role in life.

  As I said, you have probably seen the trailers which really means that you could show up 1 hour into the movie and not be lost.  The only piece of information you should probably know is that Jack and Victoria had their memories wiped clean 5 years ago.  No memory means no chance of sharing
information with the enemy.  But as we watch Jack's memories get jogged, we see that memories are what makes us who we are.

Jack Harper and Victoria were "a very effective team" repairing the protective drones.  Without the drones, human life on Titan (a moon of Venus) could not be possible.  Huge hydro-vacuums continually take water to supply life on Titan.  It was Victoria and Jack's dream to finish their tour of duty and go to Titan.  However, with Jack's flashbacks and exploration of Earth, Jack found refuge in a tranquil part of Earth with pristine lakes, rivers, trees, and some semblance of life as it used to be.

OBLIVION was an action-packed, intense movie from the first 5 minutes on.  You knew something was going to go wrong, you just didn't know when.  And then "it" happened, but only after lots of special effects, space chases galore, and a few scenes to see Cruise's still chiseled body at the age of 50.  Harper met Beech (Morgan Freeman) and life as Harper knew it was in dire question.

As you can guess by the title of my review, OBLIVION is a mix of at least 3 different sci-fi movies.  I'm sure you sci-fi fans out there could add a few more to my list.  I actually found myself rolling my eyes at one point as I was transported back in time to my childhood, watching the 'Twilight Zone.'  Don't get me wrong!  I LOVED 'Twilight Zone!'  It was just that I wanted an original concept in this movie.  I had already compared the space chase seens to "Star Wars" and another few aspects (I don't want to spoil anything here) to "The Matrix."  Then WHAM!  'Twilight Zone' hits me.  There were also many holes in the storyline.  Maybe there were answers to them, but it wasn't explained or even hinted at these answers such as how memories can be transferred from one person to another.  (Again, if I say more, you'll have a major spoiler.)  Then there was a question of safety.  Nuclear war had occurred, yet the mighty Jack Harper dared to do his work without a helmet and drink water from a stream.  That's not even safe to do now!

OBLIVION will be a huge success just because of the names involved with the film.  Cruise and Freeman will do the trick every time.  If you're going because you love Morgan (I do!), then you'll be disappointed.  He's not on the screen very much.  Cruise is Cruise.  There were tons of chase seens, cool stunts, and lots of action.  To me, this was a "Guy's Movie" although the underlying premise of the movie was all based on the love of a woman.  

If you're a STAR WARS fan, you will probably like it.  I was a bit bored in the middle, but did enjoy the end even though it left me with a few questions.  

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