For the first time this year, I was completely engrossed in a movie. Oblivion takes thematic elements of some of the best science based action films ever and perfectly melds them in to a visual feast prepared specifically for a starving crowd of die hard science fiction fans. The film moves at a perfect pace intertwining mysterious character development, stunning eye candy and a soundtrack that sets the futuristic tone as we weave in and out of the vast canyons of wasteland Earth. Unlike most modern science fiction, Oblivion pays direct respect to its obvious influences while still maintaining creative focus and attention to every little detail.
In the past, science fiction films spent time developing the environment as if it was its own character. The tiny details of a planet's infrastructure could alter the story by letting its wrath be known or by putting a character in a new, unknown place. This has almost become a forgotten art. Classics like Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Star Trek and 2001 are three primary examples. Much like those, Oblivion presents this dynamic version of future Earth as one of the main players.The computer generated landscapes are an immaculately rendered vision that will make you believe you are an isolated inhabitant all the while knowing that things could suddenly change for the worse.
I've never hopped aboard the Tom Cruise hate fueled band wagon and I never will. What he does in his personal life is his own business. What I care about is his selection of roles and the types of movies he makes. I'll make this really simple. This is his best science fiction role to date. Cruise conveys a desperation in character that I've never felt from him before. Morgan Freeman also stars but has very limited screen time while former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko plays accessory to Cruise's main character, Jack.
Science fiction fans will thoroughly enjoy Oblivion. It's not a movie that featured all the good parts in the trailers. In fact, it's one of the most thought provoking, visually appealing movies in recent history. The story is a well crafted vision, bringing one the most enigmatic films since The Matrix to theaters. Oblivion is a picturesque vision of the future that maintains a spirit of mystery, a sense of technology, and the classic tale of man versus machine.
-Review by Chris George