Oblivion


 

Greetings everyone and welcome back to Vagrant Video where I take a look at films I have watched that while suffering at the box office have been what I feel to be worthy.

 

Kicking off a Tom Cruise Trifecta is Oblivion. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, and hot on the Heels of Tron Legacy; starring Tom Cruise, Andria Risenborough, Olga Kurylenko,  Jamie Lannister and God.

I’ll put my score at the start for the TL;DR crowd. I liked this movie. Having said that if you tell me you didn’t like this movie then I’ll understand why without needing a debate or explanation.

The story feels very rote. Aliens have come for our water, unreliable PoV character, scrappy underdog resistance and villain turned hero by the power of love.

 

 

I liked the visual style, I enjoyed Tom Cruise in this role and I state that every though I called every single plot twist ahead of time the final result was so well done that I didn’t mind the predictability.

Much of this rides on Tom Cruise just really selling the character for perhaps obvious reasons

The basics are this. Tom Cruise and Andria Risenborough are maintenance workers on and earth that has been ravaged by alien invasion and natural disaster, the moon was blown up by the aliens. War is over so their job is to protect the drones and harvesting stations from the Scabs, which are the remainder of this alien army. Events happen, Twists are Turned, Character Development Happens (amazed to see you still know what that is Hollywood), Sacrifices are Made (sort of) and happy endings are achieved.

I don’t wish to spoil the story as I feel it is worthy of your viewing and instead go through some points.

  • They aliens came here for our water may be incredibly silly when you consider that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe; but whatever, it’s become Hollywood hand wave for why aliens have come.
  • Using Tom Cruise as a maintenance worker on earth. Not in itself a bad idea, he is already adapted to the climate, has those awesome primate arms for reaching all of the tight spaces in the drones and is capable of thinking independently and creatively. On the downside of this plan it was obvious in the final scene that you totally have tons of drones to spare and it might not be a good idea for your tech workers to be independent and creative thinkers.
  • Tom Cruise discovering the escape pod isn’t necessarily implausible considering that was the intent; but when you consider that the Earth is big and Space is crazy big so kudo’s to your orbital navigator Mr. I-Live-In-The-Post-Apocalypse.

Now for my biggest nick pick and this also drove me crazy in Thor: The Dark World. There was a time… maybe as late as 2000, where you didn’t have to summarize the entire plot of the movie via voice over at the beginning. This is a thing invented by movie studios that were concerned that people would be turned away by a movie in the cold open with an extraordinary premise and be unwilling or unable to organically discover what is going on. They would look a the post-apocalyptic landscape and future vehicles and be confused. I hate those people, and the studios that pander to them. As I stated Thor: The Dark World is even worse, because Anthony Hopkins as Odin gives the same exposition almost word for word half way into the film. And when you are watching Thor Part Friggin  Two!!! you shouldn’t be put off by unfamiliar ideas.

So there is Oblivion: Totally worth watching on Netflix.

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