Review: Oblivion

Oblivion Directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Tom Cruise, Oblivion is the first major movie this season. Nothing like the pure star power of Tom Cruise to kick off the spring/summer movie season. Oblivion tells the story of Jack Harper, a drone service tech on the ravaged planet Earth. How it gets ravaged and why are revealed in standard fashion within the first 10 minutes. Jack Harper's world will soon be turned up side down (Cue menacing music). My normal standard practice is to tell you the general plot here and get you interested and possibly invested in a movie that you may or may not have seen yet; change of plans. This movie is a waste of time. 124 minutes that you will never get back. I have seen my fair share of sci-fi movies and I would say its probably my favorite genre. That being said, Oblivion just takes every sci-fi cliche and crams it all together. Did you like 2001? Well we got ya covered. Did you like Moon? Gotcha there too. Mind wipe, cloning, and highly evolved computer like entities are fully featured in Oblivion. I felt like I was just along for the dumbest ride in the amusement park. Jumbled nonsense with a beautiful coating on it. Half way through the movie I remembered something...this is the guy who directed Tron: Legacy! At which point I began to enjoy it more, just a little. I realized that it was just going to be as empty headed and try and wow the viewers with visuals. For 124 minutes I felt like Joseph Kosinski and Tom Cruise were just shaking a big lollipop in front of my easily impressed 10 year old face. Unfortunately for them I am no longer 10 years old. I haven't walked out of a movie in a long time, but I really considered it. The character of Jake Harper was just Tom Cruise in Future Top Gun, and not in a good way. He was reckless for no reason. We are suppose to empathize with his situation, but you can't. Oh poor Tom Cruise has to live in an awesome safe house with a beautiful woman he has sex with in a POOL! A life only reserved for rappers and despots. All he has to do is fix drones when he isn't living it up. When he can, he likes to go live the simpler life in a cabin he built while listening to Led Zeppelin. Nothing about his life made me connect with him. I was watching Tom Cruise's awesome life not Jack Harper's. So the entire build up to tragedy was worthless. When Harper is finally introduced to the movie's conflict you just don't have the strength to care, at least I didn't. The big twist in the plot you could see from Jack Harper's sweet cloud house a 100 miles away. Nothing surprising at all.

If you liked Tron: Legacy then you will love Oblivion. Another dunderheaded approach to sci-fi. Why blaze new ground when you can just pretend to do a homage, but just rip off everything others have done but worse. As I said previously the movie looks incredible. The few action sequences that there were really stood out. The future helicopter/jet that Harper flew looked amazing in action. There is one sequence where he is being chased and the twists and turns in that scenario were damn near flawless. If the movie had more of that I would have been further on board but sadly it didn't. All in all, the movie was just boring and derivative...very derivative. At one point I was just guessing the next lines to come out of the characters mouths. This was not a difficult game. If you like the elements of movies like 2001 and Moon just watch them again and save your money.

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