Oblivion (2013)

“If we have souls, they’re made of the love we share. Undimmed by time, unbound by death.”

Oblivion

Universal Pictures in association with Relativity Media, Chernin Entertainment, Monolith Pictures and Radical Studios present…

From the unfinished graphic novel of Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) coming from Radical Studios in which he also worked on as its Co-Writer and additional credits to be one of its Producers who gave us the 2011’s blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. The film conveys a post-apocalyptic future wherein planet Earth was invaded by alien beings known as the Scavengers who initiated the attacks by blowing up the moon (a new tactical approach) which caused earthquakes and tsunamis that destroyed life as we know it. With the use of Nuclear Weapons, humanity was able to tip the scale in their favor and won the war but at a terrible cost, it ravaged their home world leaving it inhabitable due to radioactivity.

With the brief overview out of the way, we start off with Tom Cruise (Minority Report) who plays Commander Jack Harper (why can they just think of another name besides this one?). The year was 2077, Jack is part of a two man team that serves as repairman for the Drones and act as a guard on patrol duty monitoring and reporting any left resistance to Tower 49 where his partner and lover Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go) the clingy and possessive Victoria Olsen. She then coordinates and gives feedback to their Mission Controller Sally the unnerving pencil pusher who successfully annoys me with her “effectiveness mandate”, she was portrayed by Melissa Leo (Olympus Has Fallen).

Going back to our main protagonist, Tom could never undersell his films particularly due to his acting, we all know his work ethic and for obvious reasons that this was considered a sleeper, the performances in spite of its nonchalant and sober environment and interaction did still comply with what was needed to entice a rapport from the audience. Also, his character here is well restrained even with its tense moments which most of the time triggers Tom’s signature over the top speeches! This was really aesthetically pure and resonant as it gives form to what was actually in store to fulfill their objectives!

From the get-go, his mind is always thinking of something besides the mission at hand and although given the premise that these “loyal” servants has been mind wiped, these memories always comes back to haunt him in his dreams that makes it compliant to stage the second act. Speaking of being workaholics without questioning authority, as of late changes need to be made to get on with the story, Jack together with recently recovered crash survivor Olga Kurylenko (Land of Oblivion) who looks exactly the same as the woman of his dreams (both figuratively and literally) her name was Julia Rusakova to whom he took chances in order to go down deeper the “rabbit hole”!

We won’t have Tom hogging the entire spotlight now would we? He still needs a validated support cast that can go toe-to-toe with these invading parasites! Morgan Freeman (Deep Impact) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Firewall) serves as the last bastion for humanity, with less than impressive dialogue especially for the latter who thinks he speaks only to himself, Nikolaj can be a force to reckon if given the chance but everyone needs a good script and Director to lead him into that so-called paradise, it worked great for him as the antagonist in the heist thriller “Headhunters” and of course in being part the hugely successful TV series “Game of Thrones”. Morgan’s portrayal on the other hand is another story where he serves as another “Morpheus” to his “Neo” instinctively waiting for the right moment to lure the hero in and save them from utter annihilation!

The vehicles like the Bubble Ship, the “death dealing” Drones, the collapsible Bike were simply but superbly designed by Daniel Simon (Captain America: The First Avenger) for years has honed his skills with Volkswagen and Bugatti, a man of many talents his collaborations with different internationally recognized companies has given Hollywood films something to look forward to in the coming years ahead! This was a second collaboration with the Director from their “Tron: Legacy” hit as Joseph even mentioned that “I believe form follows function” which is logical since what we see or imagine to make something perform its objective. We can design something that is best suited by how it looks in the first place with a great example, I like how the ship’s landing gear disengages when it lands and takes off its launchpad!

While location wise, the landscapes are spectacular, visually unique and striking especially with the Award Winning Cinematographer Claudio Miranda (The Life of Pi) at the helm, he was able to made a clear impression on how the Joseph’s mindset will come into fruition with the anticlimactic resonance of Iceland’s ice covered white plains and mountains against the lifeless barren lands in which these remaining human survivors inhabit!

The film was generally convincing in spite of its taut plot which stretches thinly as they try to convey the story. Considering that the cast were highly recognized and remarkable, it would seem that some aspects have pulled it down that might have given it more box-office hit potential as expected. The Director at least gave his effort to bring sci-fi another refreshing look while instilling multiple angles of drama, action and mystery coming from borrowed elements in films like “Solaris” which was very evident in terms of the love lost, the painful memories and knowing when to let go moments, “The Matrix” wherein getting the hero to understand that there are two worlds and only one is real, “Independence Day” the Trojan Horse gift to the gods and lastly, “Star Wars” from the Empire’s Tie Fighters versus the Rebel’s X-Wing anyone?

Overall, Joseph and the scriptwriters was able to amalgamate all these aspects which surround the “missing alien invasion”, the need for survival, the subconscious dejavu, the mystery that surrounds the twist and of course the love story which in effect makes you forget that some of these people were actually in limbo and it’s just a matter of time to finally get back to reality!

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