An excellent Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie I watched earlier today. He plays Jack, a fancy repairman who zips around the skies in a nifty little craft as part of his job, and is based in a super-sleek home-office pod-in-the-sky thing. All white and minimalist, an interior design concept I’ve always admired but only from a distance. I would hate to actually live in that kind of design because it’s all cold and clinical. But oh well, it always works really well for a futuristic story, so whatever.
Set in the latter part of this century, the story is that Earth was attacked by aliens. First they took out our Moon, so that now it’s gorgeously pictured in the sky as some fractured thing with a long trail of debris beside it. Without the moon, nature wrecked havoc onto Earth with hurricanes, earthquakes, etc, and causing mass starvation. To fight off the alien invasion nuclear weapons were unleashed. That won us the war but devastated the planet and wiped out further much of humanity. The survivors were evacuated and live on the main spaceship hovering above, or in the case of Jack, assigned to his trendy watch tower with his partner Vica, who is also his girlfriend. Jack’s job is to patrol the skies of Earth to look for and repair grounded faulty drones, which are scary spheres of flying and killing machines programmed to hunt down the remaining aliens still on Earth.
From their sleek home office tower, Vica works with him as some sort of navigator officer, observing his work via camera and efficiently smoothing over touch buttons on a dining-table-sized-iPad while liaising with Sinister Sally, the officer from main controls at the main spaceship called Tet. The role of Vica is given some depth by the writers, something not usually bestowed on supporting characters like love interests, and it’s certainly not wasted on Andrea Riseborough who played her really well as a rule-abiding officer compliant to her superiors, but who also obviously loves Jack.
Olga Kurylenko played Julia, the girl from Jack’s past who kept showing up in his dreams, and so he was stunned to see in the flesh. Olga was alright here I guess, but she played the more likeable female role here so overall I would think she had the easier job. It’s just that I thought there was a lot of ‘deer-in-headlights’ expression from her here. I wish the role was more gritty and interesting. I’m pleased though for Olga that she’s getting roles in big movies like this one, that’s she’s doing well beyond her Bond Girl role in Quantum of Solace in 2008. And she’s beautiful. There were times in Oblivion when it struck me that she looks like an Asian and younger version of Catherine Zeta-Jones, hah.
I like Morgan Freeman, a lot. I think however it’s kinda boring and predictable that he played yet another mentor kind of role. He’s always good though, so maybe that’s why he keeps getting this type of role.
Tom Cruise is back in his element as an action movie star, where he belongs. It seems that the mudslinging on Tom has been going on for a long time now, whether it’s for his Scientology beliefs or some other thing. But I don’t care what’s in his personal life. I’m a fan because his movies never fail to entertain, and he’s always watchable because he’s a good actor and incredibly attractive. There’s a scene early on with him shirtless as he wakes up beside Vica, and even though I don’t usually care for hairless wonders, I was thinking whoa, he looks damn hot.
Oblivion is not as frenetic as say, any of his Mission Impossible work. It came across to me as one of those elegant and sleek action movies, even though there are still explosions galore, exciting chase scenes, etc. I don’t think it will stand out over time as one of the more memorable sci-fi action movies, unfortunately. But it’s still far better than some of the blockbusters I’ve seen in recent times: movies that are not much more than just a beautiful production to look at, or just a special effects spectacle. Oblivion is very breathtakingly beautiful for sure, but it also has an interesting story, and heart. It’s a fun 2-hour ride which I thoroughly enjoyed.