Some of the many sci-fi films that Oblivion borrows from.

It’s difficult to review a movie like Oblivion. The film is such a wide-ranging pastiche of existing science-fiction movies that you spend most of your time thinking not about what’s actually in the film, nor about what any of it might “mean”, but of all the other movies that this movie reminds you of.

So, here are the movies that came to my mind during or immediately after my first viewing of Oblivion. Maybe, if I see the film a second time, I will find all the inter-textual references less distracting and will be able to focus on the movie for its own sake. Oh, and be warned: there are lots and lots of spoilers below.

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Review: Evolution (dir. Ivan Reitman, 2001)

It’s clear from the trailers and posters for Evolution that director Ivan Reitman wanted to recapture some of the magic that made Ghostbusters, one of his earlier films, one of the most successful comedies of all time. The heroes in his new film do battle with alien lifeforms, rather than supernatural spooks, but otherwise, the mix of carefree humour and oversized special effects, combined with an outrageous product placement at the film’s climax, has a familiar feel. Dan Aykroyd even appears in a small role. But there’s one major problem with Evolution — it isn’t funny.

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