Cruising to ‘Oblivion’

Have you noticed how Tom Cruise has a way of making Tom Cruise the focus of almost all his recent movies? About 75% of the camera focus time, when it is focusing on a character, is on him. Even with Mission Impossible, which is a team concept storyline, it was all about Tom and his daring do. “Oblivion’ is no different, not least because, there are a bunch of Jack Harper the astronauts aka Tom Cruise, in this movie. Even Morgan Freeman, the other major star of the film, gets far less lines or face time than Tom Cruise. I’m just saying. Now for the good news.

“Oblivion’ is a pretty entertaining and visually stunning movie. This movie makes the CG look so real, the naked eye cannot tell what’s real and what’s not. CG technology has come a very long way in the last 20 years. I would go to see this movie again just to SEE this movie, even though it has some flaws to say the least. I saw it in a tiny theater in Durham England which certainly did not have real 3d or Imax capacity and it was still stunningly beautiful. I also liked the music which was sometimes quite moving and at other times quite powerful. The basic plot is described by the creators as follows…

“On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind. 2077: Jack Harper (Cruise) serves as a security repairmen stationed on an evacuated Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying alien threat who still scavenges what’s left of our planet, Jack’s mission is almost complete. In a matter of two weeks, he will join the remaining survivors on a lunar colony far from the war-torn world he has long called home. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, Jack’s soaring existence is brought crashing down after he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Drawn to Jack through a connection that transcends logic, her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he thought he knew. With a reality that is shattered as he discovers shocking truths that connect him to Earth of the past, Jack will be pushed to a heroism he didn’t know he contained within. The fate of humanity now rests solely in the hands of a man who believed our world was soon to be lost forever.”

So, our boy Jack is basically a drone repairman trying to keep those drones flying so the bad ole Scavs (presumably short for scavengers) will not prevent the draining dry of the earth’s water supply so it may be used on Saturn’s moon Titan, where, allegedly, the human race is now housed. I don’t want to drone on about drones, but these do remind you of similar items in the old Star Wars epics, except these are rather round. Think giant wrecking balls.

At the heart of the plot is the fact that though Jack Harper’s memory has been erased, apparently the eraser was on it’s last rubs because Jack still has memories of his wife from before the war, and then he discovers her landing on planet earth 60 plus years after the war that destroyed the earth. Back to the Future becomes Fast Forward to the Past. Confusing? Yes it is especially when Jack Harpers start multiplying like rabbits….. but fear not, near the end of the movie we actually have an interesting line…

“If we have souls then they must involve our shared love undiminished by time unvanquished by death…” or words to that effect. In the end this movie has something of the apocalyptic flair of the Book of Eli, but not the coherent plot or character development.


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