The new Tom Cruise sci-fi/action movie, Oblivion, is proof that creative sets and amazing action sequences, do not necessarily equal a great story.
The story is set in the future, after earth has been abandoned following a devastating war with aliens. The humans won the war, but the planet was left inhabitable. Cruise plays Jack, a man sent to repair the drones that protect the earth's vital resources. Jack is teamed up with a woman, Victoria, who works from their temporary home hovering in the clouds above earth. Victoria guides via home computer, as he makes the dangerous daily missions out into Earth, which still has alien activity. Jack finds evidence on earth that makes him question their mission and those in control.
Oblivion has a lot going for it. The actors are all very good, including a small part played by legend, Morgan Freeman. The scene stealer is Andrea Riseborough, who plays Victoria. All of the actors handle the ridiculous plot and unconvincing dialogue like true professionals.
The action sequences are hollow, but look spectacular. I felt like I was watching someone playing a video game or I was on a ride at a theme park.
The movie looks beautiful. In particular, I loved the imagination that went into creating Victoria and Jack's sky house, which included the coolest pool ever! Early in the movie, the scenes of the post war earth are creepy and affecting, including showing major monuments like the Empire State building. This grows old though, especially with the (insert groan) shot of the Statue of Liberty torch during a chase sequence through a canyon. It was out of place. There are many dream sequences in the movie, done with flickering black and white, which just look great.
I was completely drawn in to the first thirty minutes or so of the movie. It was mysterious enough to keep me captivated and to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Then things took a turn for the silly.
Silly and dull.
Loads of plot holes and things to question. The big twist in the movie was a surprise, but it was so dumb that it didn't matter. They lost me at that point. We should have walked out of the theater and surely if we had rented this at home, we would have turned it off and cut our losses.
SPOILERS (FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SEEN IT)- MY RANT
Here are some of the things that drove me extra nuts...why are there only two of them for the project? Why even bother with clones? Or if the clones are necessary, why bother disgusing them as humans? Are the aliens really that afraid of a band of misfits on earth, especially when they clearly have superior fighting power and can just wipe them out? Why haven't they wiped them out?
Why bother returning Cruise's wife to the main ship? Why wouldn't the aliens just destroy the wife, the two clones and start with new clones? They had already proven that killing off the clones isn't a big deal.
If the flight recorder box was so important to the wife, then why didn't she listen to it immediately after they recovered it?
Is there a more flimsy excuse than Freeman's character seeing the humanity in Jack after he picks up the book and saves the girl?
It is way too big of a coincidence that Jack just happens upon the pod of his wife. Convenient...
And the worst...
When did they have time to make a baby??? I guess that one night in the cabin, but could there have been a more cheesy ending? Nope. Painful.