Movie Review: “Oblivion”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 10:00 am.

(Photo: Universal Pictures)

Summary: Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Oblivion takes place in a post-apocalyptic New York City (It’s always New York isn’t it — can’t we ever get a post-apocalyptic Midwest?). Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his sexy, red-headed partner are attempting to control the remains of an alien invasion who destroyed the moons 60 years before, which caused devastation to the planet. But, as always, things are not what they seem. Who is the real enemy? The aliens? Jack Harper? Maybe it’s the self-imploding script.

Tom Cruise is arguably one of the greatest action stars Hollywood ever created. Minority Report, Mission: Impossible, War of the Worlds — even the films that suffer a beating by critics still perform well at the box office. Audiences can depend on Cruise for the adrenaline rush of his own stunts and the high-octane drama of beating the enemy. Oblivion is easily low on the list of Cruise’s action greats, but the film is still a thrill ride — even with a muddy storyline bogged down with anticlimactic plot twists.

First, the look of Oblivion is spectacular. The high-budget special effects paid off, which weren’t overstuffed with video game-ish CGI. Most action films today resemble a Playstation game versus a movie. The eye-popping flick is visually exquisite and you’ll never whisper to the person next to you, “That looks so fake!” However, Oblivion is fairly standard. The flick does its job but obviously Kosinski was going for the impact of The Matrix, Avatar or Mission: Impossible.

Oblivion misses the mark with a confusing, uneventful and eventually disappointing storyline. Talk of drones, scavengers and clones are tiresome — and trying to decipher the film’s ludicrous plot holes is pointless. Applying more and more logic to Oblivion only results in a less enjoyable film. Even though the movie wants to be a “deep” action flick, you’ll enjoy it more the less you think about logic. The Universal Pictures movie will more than likely earn solid numbers at the box office, but will probably disappear into celluloid oblivion in less than a month — but that doesn’t mean Cruise’s latest action effort isn’t a fun ride.

Oblivion is in theaters now.

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