io9, a popular science fiction blog, recently reported on nine separate movie reviews that describe the movie Oblivion as lifeless, but they’re wrong.
Oblivion is an intelligent, thoughtful, well-plotted movie with liberal doses of suspense, tension and action. Sure, there’s a couple of minor plot holes, but for me it was 8/10 and can be forgiven for a few trivial issues.
Put your popcorn down. Stop slurping on your frozen coke.
You can’t switch-off and zone-out during Oblivion. You’ll have to pay attention to the subtleties, right down to the lyrics of a 70s rock song playing softly in the background, but it will be worth the effort.
This is no movie for 7th graders. Oblivion won’t spell out the plot for you, but all the clues are there if you pay attention to the details, and before long they’ll become blisteringly obvious.
Personally, I cringe at the association between Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology, but, damn, can that boy act! He doesn’t look, sound or move like a fifty year old. Sure, there’s the typical Cruise mannerisms, but they don’t overplay the character and he fits seamlessly into the role of a droid technician.
The scenery is stunning, the panoramas breathtaking, and the story is paced to match, with just the right balance of intrigue and character development.
If I have one criticism it would be that they give too much away in the trailer, and this is a trend we’re seeing across a lot of movies lately, including Star Trek Into Darkness. When it comes to Oblivion, the haunting beauty of the shattered landscape would have been better served as a surprise. The producers could have held back on releasing so many “money shots” in the trailer without losing out on audience attendance. Trailers should be teasers, not a compressed short for the entire movie minus one or two plot points.
If you’ve enjoyed books like Galactic Exploration you’ll love Oblivion.