Jack Harper, played by Tom Cruise, is a drone technician in a dystopian future where the earth has been ravaged by an alien war. Harper is plagued by impossible dreams and memories of before the war and before he was born. When a bit of his dreams comes crashing from the sky, he begins to question his reality, finding everything is not exactly what it seems.
This movie is visually stunning, which is to be expected since it’s directed by Joseph Kosinski, the director of Tron Legacy. The technology design in Oblivion has the same amount of attention as the Grid in Tron but with a much brighter, more minimal, and futuristic look—enough to make a graphic designer drool. For its minor part, the world is surprisingly well constructed. A significant portion of the film is Cruise flying around in a jet-copter, showing us amazing landscapes of this broken world, contrasting well with the clean cut of Cruise’s tech.
The story in Oblivion is not original. It borrows a lot from many sci-fi classics, but is still, as a whole, something that is unique. The bends and twists of the plot are enjoyable and sometimes surprising. The characters do not get the screentime they deserve to become loved by the audience, but for all its action, the film has an introspective aspect, looking into the mind of this survivor of humanity. This film feel very much like a classic sci-fi flick, except instead of a cardboard spaceship and one terrible fight scene with a man in a rubber suit, you get beautiful CGI and blockbuster action.
If you are a fan of science fiction, this and Star Trek are probably your best bets for movies this year. If you like looking at pretty things that move fast and then blow up, you will probably also enjoy this movie. If you are looking for a heart wrenching plot performed by astounding actors, you get a few minutes with Morgan Freeman.
This movie will probably not break the box office, as there was only a handful of people there on opening day, but it is a solid film and is worth seeing (I would also recommend IMAX to better see Kosinski’s work).