Film Review – Oblivion (2013)


Title – Oblivion (2013)

Director – Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy)

Cast – Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Plot – Earth 2077, drone repairman Jack (Cruise) and partner Victoria (Riseborough) operate as lone workers on the shattered remnants of Earth protecting the machines harvesting earths remaining resources. Things get complicated when Jack discovers a crash landed craft holding a human woman Julia (Kurylenko) and the sudden appearance of human survivor Beech (Freeman).

“Is it possible to miss a place you’ve never been, to mourn a time you’ve never lived?”

Review by Eddie on 20/09/2013

After the visual stimulus that was TRON:Legacy director Joseph Kosinski has again crafted a feast for the eyes but a movie hard to appreciate on an emotional level. Oblivion looks the goods photographically and filming wise thanks to its naturally stunning Iceland vistas with added CGI effects but it’s a film that’s not as grand as it thinks it is and a film that sadly isn’t as pretty as it wants to be.

Oblivion aims for the epic and doesn’t reach it. The story of Tom Cruise’s repairman Jack allows for lots of character development and growth but no matter how much Jack develops there is never a real sense of connection to his character or those of the female leads in Anna Riseborough as Victoria and Kurylenko as Julia. Another aspect that works against Oblivion is very weirdly the kitsch look of the whole film in a design, costume and prop sense which diminish’s the hard work of the movie and its backstory history.

For a film that cost in the vicinity of $120 million Oblivion looks awkwardly cheap in its effects and props. Examples of this can be seen in Morgan Freeman’s wardrobe (seriously why is Freeman chuffing on a cigar?), the films weapons and vehicles and the final act of the film has some of the worst CGI this side of Sharknado. If Kosinski wants his visions to meet their full potential more attention needs to be paid to how the film looks as a finished product.

With all this negative talk it must be said that thanks to the intriguing enough story and mystery the film presents Oblivion is always watchable and there are enough well-constructed scenes to keep the viewer glued to their seat. In regards to Tom Cruise no matter what the naysayers can come up with the man can act and here holds the film with his presence. Kosinski is an interesting director and one can feel soon enough a movie for him will click not just visually but emotionally and when that day comes it will be a joy to behold.

P.S – someone give GOT’s The King Slayer (Coster-Waldau) a decent role already!

3 drones out of 5

21 responses to “Film Review – Oblivion (2013)

  1. I’m ruined of Tom Cruise films. The last great one was Minority Report. It’s a shame as this one could’ve been better with better effects and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead.

    • Oh so true although any film would be that much better with JGL in the lead 🙂

      I was shocked at how bad some of the effects where in this film it really took me by surprise. Mind you some of it looked fantastic but was to much distance between that and the shoddy.

  2. Hmm…i’m not so much recalling how bad the CGI looked towards the end and the props in general I considered to be pretty top notch. However, i did see this some time ago and I too was overall non-plussed with how middling it became. Cruise, decent in the role. . . everyone else, utterly annoying and subpar. (Sorry Freeman, but you’re in so many things already, I think I’m allowed to deny you once in a while). Good stuff though man.

  3. It was all summed up in your first sentence. I read similar reviews but still forked out the money to take my wife to see this, with the high hopes of a stunning sci-fi thriller, but they just don’t make them with that combination of style AND story like 2001: A Space Odyssey anymore.

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  5. I so agree with this reviewer, and he said it far better and in less words than my review. I never really felt a connection to JACK. or any of the actors except for the nude pool scene. I was completely immersed.

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