Skip to main content

Oblivion

Earth 2077. The planet is a wreck and now uninhabitable. Humanity has moved to colonize on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. The only things that are on the dying world is a mop-up crew that is tasked with doing the machine-like duty of collecting vital resources like water and plant life for......Wait a second....i'm explaining the plot of WALL-E! Let's try this again.....

In the distant future, a two-person crew live together and take orders from a machine that may be hiding a more sinister motive as to why......Sorry, that's another plot point from Stanley Kubrick's 2001 - A Space Odyssey, my mistake.


Tom Cruise is Jack Harper, a man tasked with droid repairs for what feels to be a lifetime. Harper has this feeling that the life he knows may be a guise to blind him from what's really going on, as dreams (or memories?) of a world more before the destruction of the planet and the woman on top of the empire State Building in New York haunt him every night......And those were the plots to Total Recall and Inception. Goddammit....

Cruise is also a hotshot pilot with a cocky attitude....Great, that's borrowed from Cruises's star-making role in Top Gun....and a leap without looking philosophy that gets the woman he's assigned to, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) in danger....fuck me, that's partially lifted from J.J. Abrams' reboot of Star Trek....who eventually gains a cause to fight for as he is captured by the last remaining pockets of humanity who hide underground and believe that he his the key to ending a war against mindless killing machines....that's from both The Matrix and it's sequel, The Matrix Reloaded!? Jesus Christ!

You think i'm kidding, i'm not! Director Joseph Kosinski's follow-up to the successful and underrated Tron: Legacy is basically just borrowed plot points and backdrops to other classic and influential sci-fi fare, without an original spin of it's own. Hell, the shots of a buried Empire State Building and Stature of Liberty are a blatant reference to Planet of the Apes! I don't have an issue with a director taking ideas from those movies, but you better have an new spin on them, or at the least, expand upon the universe that was created upon. Say what you want about Ridley Scott's Prometheus, but at least that movie expanded upon the Alien universe and tried to build its own.that would bridge the gap between both worlds. Oblivion feels like Kosinski just flat-out plagiarized the words of Kubrick  the Wachowskis, Philip K. Dick, Christopher Nolan and Pixar, all without the slightest bit of realization that he did it.

It's a shame, really, because the visuals and cinematography (beautifully captured by current Oscar-winner Claudio Miranda - Life of Pi)are all top-notch, and the performances from Cruise, Riseborough and Morgan Freeman as the resistance leader (though his part is smaller than what the trailer implied), are all solid. Still, great visuals and strong performances can't hide a script that's been borrowed from other better science-fiction fare. For a film about a man that's trying to piece together his memories, Oblivion doesn't make any attempt to make the audience remember, much less care, about this brave new world.

** stars out of ****

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lost in Translation

I think it's fair to assume that a lot of us were very skeptical upon hearing that Masmure Shinrow's cyberpunk manga Ghost in the Shell was being updated for mainstream audiences, in the form of a live-action film. We've seen how this business has handled manga/Anime properties in the past, and the track record, outside of the Wachowskis' Speed Racer, has been dismal, to say the least. When it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson was chosen to play Major Motoko Kusanagi, the Internet went ablaze, the cries that studio suits were whitewashing a beloved Anime character, as well as petitions making the rounds to remove the actress from the role in favor of an Asian actress to carry the role. When the first trailer dropped in mid-November of last year, I think most of us were blown away with just how, on a surface level, it looked like the live-action version might do the original source material justice.

Then, the actual film was released.

It's hard to talk about the …

The Worst of 2017 (So Far)

I can't very well talk about some of the most rewarding films of the year without putting my $0.02 cents on the ones which rewarded the least; the ones that left a bitter taste in the mouth, months after first watching them on the big screen.


Transformers: The Last Knight - I was going to review Bay's latest toy commercial during a week-long retrospective on each of the installments of the Transformers franchise (and I will end up finishing said retrospective soon, I promise...), but here's the cliffnotes version on what I've got to say for movie no.5: It's still the same mindless junk he's put out since the surprise 2007 hit, just even more tedious and uninteresting than before. I'm tired of Optimus Prime and his cohorts, the Autobots, in yet another attempt to tell us stupid humans that the Decipticons are bad news and that they'll never leave our world alone unless they work together to stop them; I'm tired of the unrelenting obnoxious comic relie…

Best of 2017 (So Far)

Ah, so where was I? Ah, yes - Day two tackling Michael Bay's Transformers series.....

Wait....It's August?!

The Summer Movie Season is just about wrapped up and we're heading into Award season???

What do you mean a woman single-handily saved DC's interconnected universe???

Nolan made a war film how short???

Who the fuck is Tom Holland???

Transformers 5 was a box office disappointment in North America??? Fuck yes!

And Sony really made a cartoon which featured the shit emoji???

What's next: the President of the United States defends white supremacists live, in front of the press?

So, as you can see, I hit my annual writer's block, this time last over most of the summer (including most of 2017), which means I am extremely behind to the point I'm up to my damn neck in stuff I want to talk about. Good thing September is just around the corner and there's not too much to go out and seek in that time frame, but that doens't mean I haven't been watching…