Drones and Clones mark OBLIVION!


After seeing numerous trailers for the new hit film, Oblivion, I was compelled to run out and see it on its opening weekend (and I wasn’t alone as the box office would later prove). I consider myself as big a fan of science fiction as I am of horror so my fervor would have been a no-brainer had it not been for the presence of Tom Cruise…namely, the fact that I can’t stand him! No, he’s never done anything to me personally and I don’t judge people by their religious choices (so long as they aren’t hurting anybody), but man does he bug me for some reason. Maybe it’s because he reminds me of the snarky, good looking kid in high school who always ran off with the girl I had a crush on, who knows…

So far as Cruise’s star power is concerned, my personal feelings were clearly inconsequential as I arrived forty minutes before showtime and there was already a long line to get in. Thankfully, nobody wanted my preferred spot (all the way in back and middle) so I was able to enjoy the comfortable seats of an “Ultra-Screen” (larger screen with improved digital sound) theater from an optimum, people-watching vantage point.

This post apocalyptic story takes place in the year 2077. The Earth was attacked by an alien intelligence (referred to as “Scavengers”) sixty years earlier resulting in our moon getting blasted apart. While the loss of our satellite alone resulted in cataclysmic conditions on Earth, it was further ravaged by the nuclear weapons we needed to win the war. Now, with our planet an uninhabitable wreck, what’s left of the human race has made an exodus to Saturn’s moon of Titan.

Oblivion starring Tom CruiseWhat’s left of Mother Earth

This leaves a few stragglers (clean up crew) to secure the planet and keep some remaining “Scavengers” at bay. Two of these are Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Roseborough), a couple living in a space-aged pad while in constant contact with a lady up in mission control whose impeccable customer service skills are enough to drive you up a wall. Jack’s job is to repair any damaged drones which were created to fly around the planet and handle possible threats.

Oblivion-Drone-e1366224105945Attack of the drones…

Despite having all the comforts of home (complete with a gal pal who’s eager to have sex with him whenever he starts questioning things) Jack clearly wants to go back to the good old days amid visions of another woman, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), and images of New York City back in 2017. This phenomena is later explained after Jack gets ambushed by some “Scavengers” and gets his memory-wiped, mind blown with revelations. It will also leads him to other survivors, including a man named Beech, played by Morgan Freeman who’s great in just about every role he plays. I was also pleased to see a glimpse of actress Zoe Bell though, sadly, she barely gets to say two words!

oblivion-10569-p-1363868039-470-75Jack & Julia

The enhanced screen was worth the extra money as this film is beautifully shot in digital 4K. Jack and Victoria’s futuristic home is simplistic, yet stunning, and in many ways reminsicent of a Ray Bradbury story from Weird Science. Despite Earth having seen better days, the visuals are on par with Prometheus and should look amazing when it hits blu-ray. I would also give the film thumbs up for its special effects overall and loved Jack’s spaceship.
As far as the story goes, this may be depicting a future earth but it’s chock full of timely reminders of how the increase of technology can quickly shrink our human liberties if we’re not careful. If the very presence of drones running amok (currently a hot topic as they’re not only being used for foriegn intel but soon domestic) doesn’t drive the message home, then pieces of The Statue of Liberty and The Liberty Bell strewn amid the rubble surely will. I’m not going to use this opportunity to get on my soap box regarding my feelings towards the government and what’s going on these days but let’s just say I believe The X-Files had it right. Continuing on with the Bradbury theme, I also saw elements of his iconic story, Fahrenheit 451 as well.
Cloning also plays a role in the plot which was bad news for me since it meant dealing with my favorite actor in multiples. This was the one aspect of the film I could have done without; especially concerning matters of the heart where Julia shows that if you can’t be with the one you want, love the clone your with. I’d have liked to have seen more of an exciting climax too but, overall, sci-fi fans should walk away pleased and its worth a gander on the big screen, preferably a digital one.
As for Tom Cruise, I found him tolerable and his performance was certainly adequate. He also appears to be ageless and looks damn good for being 50 years old.
…the smug bastard!
Dave Fuentes~

3 thoughts on “Drones and Clones mark OBLIVION!

  1. I’d like to see it, but share a distaste for Cruise and all the other Scientologist actors in Hollywood.

  2. I agree with your review, except for the clone part.
    It was, unfortunately, a key element to the plot. Poorly handled in the movie though it was.

    The thing I did not like in it was the lack of any development. For a two hour plus movie, it was pretty, but not a full story. You could take a half hour out of it and not loose a thing. I know the FX drove the price up, but compare this multi-million dollar story to “The Day the Earth Caught Fire. ” (1961) A story worth over two hours would have been worth the price more than pretty ships and pretty people.

    Still, it was one of the better “smart” science fictions they have come out with in the last 30 years.

    • I agree and, yes, the clone aspect wasn’t handled as it should though conducive to the story. It was pretty but no “Prometheus.”

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