I am going to go out on a limb here and stand up for OBLIVION. It was not kindly reviewed when it first came out and most people who I spoke with were more interested in bitching about it because it was similar to other movies they saw. I don’t care what they think. Having now seen it twice, I find it stunningly beautiful and utterly unappreciated.
Yes, the story is derivative of many classic science-fiction films, most notably BLADE RUNNER, SILENT RUNNING and most recently MOON, but so are many films that you probably love. It’s what you do with these tropes that matters and OBLIVION has crafted a story that stands on its own and deserves a little more respect.
It is the year 2077 and the Earth has barely survived a war with an alien race that pretty much wiped the slate clean. Because the Earth is barely habitable, survivors live on an orbiting space station awaiting travel to Saturn’s moon Titan for relocation.
Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are tasked with maintaining the security drones that protect large processing machines on the Earth’s surface gathering resources for the trip to Titan. The drones are prone to attack by pockets of aliens still finding refuge on the planet.
But everything isn’t exactly what it seems and when a long thought lost spacecraft crashes on the surface and Jack goes to investigate, a mystery unravels that questions everything he’s been led to believe.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: LEGACY), OBLIVION is as striking as they come. The production design is outstanding, from the ship concepts to the costumes and props. This is aided by gorgeous, daylight imagery shot by cinematographer Claudio Miranda making the film one of the best looking films of the year.
Based on a graphic novel by Kosinski, the story harkens back to the very best of TV’s TWILIGHT ZONE and especially the OUTER LIMITS and supplies some fascinating twists that explore the themes of memory and identity.
When I first saw the trailers for OBLIVION in the theaters I was unimpressed. It looked very standard to me, but the movie is anything but standard and was by far the biggest surprise of the year. If you are a fan of hard science fiction like GATTACA, SOLARIS and GRAVITY, I strongly believe you will appreciate this grossly underappreciated film.
I now return control of the Internet to you. Until tomorrow at the same time, when the control voice will take you to – MOVIE A DAY.