Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
There is one thing with Oblivion that stands out above all others, and that’s the visuals. This is a beautiful movie. The colors are muted in certain areas, but when they go vibrant, it is immediately noticeable. Then there’s the audio: Whether it be the striking sound effects that grab your attention, or the Zimmer-esque score by M83 that thumps with every beat, the movie fights for your attention. The story has to be a good one in order to compete with the other parts of this movie, and it does…sort of.
The movie begins in 2077, where an alien group only known as Scavengers – “Scavs” for short – attacked Earth in an attempt to eliminate all human life and gain access to our resources. In the attack, the moon was destroyed and the ensuing natural disasters made the planet all but inhabitable. With most of humanity fleeing to Titan, a two man team was left on Earth to monitor both security drones and resource extraction machines.
Technician #49 Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his communications officer/lover Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough) are two weeks away from their departure when a probe from the space shuttle Odyssey crashes to earth. Jack investigates and finds a survivor named Julia Rusakova (Olga Kurylenko). He was able to save her, but the other crewmembers were destroyed by the drones. Upon further investigation, Jack and Julia realize that the “Scavengers” are actually humans led by Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman), and this begins a series of twists that will leave you gasping for breath.
Yes, the audio and viusals are striking, but what really sets this apart is the acting. Tom Cruise has great chemistry with his female leads, especially with Kurylenko (I add parenthetically that it’s a bit of a stretch to imagine someone in his 50s courting someone in their 30s). Andrea Riseborough is someone who impresses as well. She has not only a haunting beauty, but a look that betrays the comfort that she appears to show. Morgan Freeman does his best Morpheus impression, and it looks like he’s having a lot of fun.
This movie is an experience. This is one of those you have to see in theaters, if for anything but to immerse yourself in the wrold it shows. The visuals are stunning, the acting is good, and the audio is top notch. With the exception of Melissa Leo’s accent, this is a spectacular movie, and a throwback to movies of old.
My rating: A