Matt Adcock’s film review: Oblivion

“Is it possible to miss a place you’ve never been? To mourn a time you never lived?”

My name is Jack Harper, known as Tech 49, and I’m one of the last humans on earth – 60 years ago, we were attacked and although we won the war, it destroyed half the planet in the process.

Everything feels odd here in the ruins of our civilisation, everyone’s been evacuated to Titan, a habitable moon of Saturn, now nothing human remains.

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I’m here with my communications partner Victoria (Andrea ‘Welcome to the Punch’ Riseborough), tasked with keeping the weaponised drones repaired so that they can protect the massive water-harvesting energy converters which are draining the last of earth’s resources.

We have to be ever vigilant because there are remnants of scavenger creatures in the wastes that continue to attack our facilities….

Oblivion is an ambitious and intelligent large-scale sci-fi flick that packs seriously visually spectacular effects. Cruise does his patented smooth hero stuff in the lead role, although he is often upstaged by the incredible CGI effects that depict a believably devastated wasteland and the high tech drones.

If you’ve played PS3 games like Fallout you’ll relish the post-apocalyptic world brought to the screen here.

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The drones are iconic creations – each has a formidable four gun set up and one red eye, very ‘Hal-9000’.

Co-written, produced and directed by Joseph ‘Tron Legacy’ Kosinski, this is based on his unpublished graphic novel and that is perhaps the main weakness of the film, in that it is light on actual plot, though not short on plot holes, for a two hour plus experience.

The supporting cast all work well and include Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldaufrom Game of Thrones and ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.

But this is Cruise’s movie and he adds another grand cinematic role to his impressive roster.

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I saw Oblivion with my esteemed fellow critic Tom Wade who wasn’t as enamoured with it – but then I get the impression that he has some issues with the star as he protested: “There’s only so far up yourself you can go… until you get to Tom Cruise!”

For me, though, Oblivion delivers an above average slice of thought-provoking sci-fi nonsense, and sets the bar for the raft of sci-fi films heading our way which include Elysium, Star Trek: Into Darkness and After Earth. Definitely worth a watch.

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