DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews
 
OBLIVION (director: Joseph Kosinski; screenwriters: Karl Gajdusek, Michael DeBruyn/adapted from Kosinski's graphic novel,; cinematographer: Claudio Miranda; editor: Richard Francis-Bruce; music: M83; cast: Tom Cruise (Jack), Morgan Freeman (Beech), Olga Kurylenko (Julia), Andrea Riseborough (Victoria or Vika), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Sykes), Melissa Leo (Sally), Zoe Bell (Kara); Runtime: 124; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Joseph Kosinski, Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Barry Levine, Duncan Henderson; Universal; 2013)

"Even a lively electronic score by M83, a bustling Imax presentation and Cruise at his most action-pic watchable can't make this inert film come to life."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Visionary filmmaker Joseph Kosinski ("Only The Brave"/"Tron-Legacy") helms this forgettable, overlong, derivative, yawner of a futuristic sci-fi film, that's adapted from his never published graphic novel. It's written by Karl Gajdusek and Michael DeBruyn with no distinction.

Alien wars have left the Earth in ruin in 2077. The aliens destroyed the Earth's moon and the Earth retaliated with nukes, making the planet not livable for anyone. But Earth defeated the so called "Scavenger" invaders, called for short Scavs. Only a handful of Scavs remain as terrorist raiders.

Jack Harper (Tom Cruse) is a high-tech security drone repairman and protector of the Earth's water supply. He's stationed in a bubble hovering over the Earth called The Tet, as part of a mop-up crew. Jack partners with the efficient but cold Brit controller, Vika (Andrea Riseborough), in work and in the bedroom. Though their memory has been scrubbed 5 years ago on orders from their leaders, Jack still faintly recalls in his dreams that before the wars, 60 years ago, he was with a gorgeous, vulnerable, dark-haired woman, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), in NYC.

While
on a drone reconnaissance mission, just 2 weeks before the partners will evacuate forever to live  on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, where the Earth people have relocated, Jack locates the mysterious Julia from his past in a wrecked spaceship sleeping pod and rescues her. Continuing his search in the area, while disobeying orders from his superiors to retreat, Jack's taken prisoner by some rebellious Scavs, led by Beech (Morgan Freeman) and Sykes (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). In captivity it dawns on Jack he doesn't know the full truth about his situation and has been misled all these years. Therefore Jack no longer trusts Mission Control, who use a computer called Sally (voiced by Melisa Leo), to contact Vika on the marching orders, which she relays to Jack.

By the time the plot begins to unfold, I no longer had any interest and what ensued indeed left me in a state of oblivion.

The fantasy film follows the path of Total Recall, Omega Man and Blade Runner, but is not their equal. There are no fresh ideas, the plot is nonsensical and the stars make no emotional connections with the viewers.
Even a lively electronic score by M83, a bustling Imax presentation and Cruise at his most action-pic watchable can't make this inert film come to life.

REVIEWED ON 6/8/2018       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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