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In this run of the mill sci-fi action thriller, Tom Cruise plays Jack, a mechanic left on a desolated Earth with only his wife Julia (Andrea Riseborough) for company. For this is the future, a future where Earth has been attacked by aliens and the moon destroyed. Without our moon, Earth has been ruined by earthquakes and intense tsunami’s. The human race has been shipped to Titan and giant machines are left to harvest the ocean for power. It is Jack’s job to ensure these machines and the drones that protect him are kept running.
In his loneliness, flying around the Earth, Jack is haunted by visions of a woman (Olga Kurylenko) who mysteriously crash lands in one of his search zones. When he goes in to rescue her – against the judgement of his wife Julia – he finds the drones killing off all survivors. He manages to protect her and the two of them begin to piece together a puzzle of who they really are and what they’re doing here.
It all gets a little confusing, especially when you throw in clones and Beech’s (Morgan Freeman) band of survivors, living rouge in the underground, thought to be aliens. Jack and Beech piece together the puzzle and end the movie on a one-way mission to destroy a very 2001: A Space Odyssey Hal like red-eyed machine.
Visually, the film is quite stunning, well, for a nuclear, apocalyptic waste-ground. The absence of green screen shows its worth when the exterior shots are filmed on location rather than in the studio. The housing interiors are sleek and space-aged drones and ships are as we’d expect to be living in the future.
The action is on a grand scale, creating the appropriate amount of popcorn chomping tension but the films undoing is in its plot. After the initial exposition we are treated to long periods of exploring the wasteland where not a lot happens. The introduction of Beech and Jack’s dream woman only serve to further confuse and the lack of any real emotion towards any of the characters just emphasises the emptiness of the world they live in.
Leaves a less than satisfying feeling for a big budget Tom Cruise movie and putting Morgan Freeman in the billing is clearly just a name drop considering the time he spends on screen. Oblivion clearly is trying to over think itself too much, it doesn’t being enough to the table.