April 22, 2013

Haiku Revieu: Oblivion

Oblivion (****)

High-tech future toys
The Earth is no longer home
Love does conquer all

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I am not a huge Tom Cruise fan; his roles are hit are miss for me. I really like the Mission: Impossible movies and a lot of his earlier roles are classics, but I never go to a Tom Cruise movie for Tom Cruise. After seeing Oblivion, in which Tom is very much the main actor, I've been rethinking my opinion of him.

Oblivion is a gorgeous movie set in a history in which the world has undergone serious ecological changes. The basic plot is that a war with aliens has led the majority of the human population to leave earth for Titan (one of Saturn's moons) or a space station in Earth orbit called the Tet. The few that have been left behind are keeping watch over a set of drones that protect giant machines sucking up seawater and turning it into power. Some of the "Scavs," the alien race that started the war, occasionally mess with the drones. Tom's character, Jack, is a drone tech who has to be careful not to run into the Scavs when we goes out to repair the drones. One day, a NASA ship with humans in status pods crashes to earth ... and everything is flipped on its head.

Things I liked about the movie:
  • It was a peaceful scifi film, if that makes any sense. There was some action, but much of the movie was Jack flying around in his ship. Which leads me to:
  • The "tech" was awesome. Jack's ship, his house, the drones; everything was futuristic, but it wasn't sterile. And the further along the plot progressed, the dirtyier (both literally and figuratively) the story got, the tech did too.
  • Earth was a main character. It's much different than the Earth we know today, but the scenery (although altered) was just as beautiful.
  • Morgan Freeman.

Things that I didn't quite like about the movie:
  • The music, at times, can be very distracting. It was reminiscent to me of something out of Blade Runner, and that didn't fit the feel of Oblivion. It also got really loud at times, which disrupted my immersion in the film.
  • The plot was a bit predictable.

Things that are neither good nor bad, just thoughts:
  • The film paid homages to movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes.
  • Vica as a nickname for Victoria is one I've never heard before, but it's very cool.

If you've been weighing going to see this movie while it's in theaters, Oblivion is definitely a film that is worth seeing on the big screen.

Also—and this is definitely a spoiler, but not really one that reveals any of the plot—after seeing the movie, I now realize that the poster on the left (above) is totally misleading. The Empire State Building, in the movie, is underground up to the observation deck and there's no waterfall anywhere nearby. It's a silly inaccuracy, but it bothers me a little bit.


  1. Cool. I've been thinking about seeing this, but had also been thinking of it as a 'Tom Cruise' movie so was iffy. You've tipped me in favor of seeing it.

  2. Urgh, inaccurate posters and trailers really bother me too!

    I'm intrigued about this film, I love sci fi and I really like M83 who did the soundtrack. But I'm feeling like I'm trying not to get my hopes up as a lot of sci fi movies lately have been run of the mill rather than really, really good...

    I'm also changing my mind abut Tom Cruise as well - I loved him in Minority Report (a good sci fi, hurray) and also the mission impossible films too, I kind of don't want to like him though - does that make sense?

  3. Hm, interesting. I'm right with you on Tom Cruise, which is why I think I didn't care too much about seeing this, but the trailer had me a bit intrigued. And obviously Morgan Freeman. Maybe I'll give it a go!

  4. It's a thinking man's scifi film, if that makes any sense? I did really like it, though, even with my Tom Cruise dislike.

  5. Oh, Minority Report—I totally agree. That movie is fantastic. And I totally understand where you're coming from on the not wanting to like him; the dude seems like a bit of a nutter. ;)

  6. It's funny how many people see Tom Cruise and think "eh ..." I think his strange personal personal rubs off on moviegoers, regardless of who he's playing in a film.