Oblivion (2013) – Joseph Kosinski

I love the visuals of this film. I love the way it looks, and I also really enjoy the way the narrative takes you in.

Tom Cruise stars alongside Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, and Olga Kurylenko in this science fiction adventure. Cruise is Jack a tech working with his controller, Victoria (Riseborough) on the ruined surface of the Earth. They are assigned to maintain the operations of a collection of drones that are protecting water collectors as humanity flees the planet’s destruction, caused by the arrival of an aggressive alien species, for Titan.

The water and the last surviving members of humanity are being delivered up to an orbiting station known as the Tet before continuing on their journey to Saturn’s moons. All that is left are tech crews who are maintaining the drones against the aliens known as Scavs.

When Jack encounters something he doesn’t expect while working on one of the drones an adventure is launched that will challenge everything Jack believes and everything he thought he was fighting in.

The visual effects in this film are fantastic. I love the designs, and how they are portrayed on the screen. The main characters are layered, and once they start to get peeled back you begin to understand what is really going on, and see things in a whole new way.

It’s fun to see Morgan Freeman playing a badass in the persona of Beech and the twists and turns for all the characters in the film are delivered just right. There are character revelations that enhance the performances and revelations that change the nature of the story and I really enjoyed how they were executed.

Solidly paced, the film gives you enough at the beginning to prep you for the world and then lets you hold on for the ride as the reality of what Jack and the audience believe shifts under their feet like sand.

I missed this one in theatres and picked up the blu-ray on sale a number of years ago just on a whim. I was stunned by how much I enjoyed it and was a little bummed that I didn’t see it on the big screen as most of the effects work would have looked jaw-dropping in the theatre.

Cruise is solid but it’s the performances and nuances provided by Riseborough and Freeman that really make the characters pop. The attention given to detail in the narrative and the creation of the made-over Earth is incredible. We know where the story takes place because of the landmarks Jack comes across but it’s stunning to imagine them that way.

It’s a fun sci-fi watch that looks great, entertains, and makes you think. Sure the ending may be a little too happy, but it’s telegraphed once you know about how things are playing out.

What did you think of it?

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