Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oblivion (a short review)

So, last week I got to indulge in one of the few simple pleasures that help keep me sane these movie day with a good friend of mine. The hardest part each time is deciding what film to see. I always find it difficult to decide if I should see something that has just released, or if I should catch something that might be leaving the box office before I completely miss my chance to see it on the big screen. With the help of my good friend, we decided to watch Oblivion. Now for those of you who know me, it is no surprise that my first instinct was to avoid Tom Cruise at all cost. I take nothing away from his talent, or the scope of his career, but I just don't seem to enjoy him as much these days as I did in the past. I am a huge fan of "Risky Business", "Legend", "Top Gun", and some of the "Mission Impossible" films, but not all. Alas, Tom Cruise aside, I gave in and bought the tickets to Oblivion and prepared myself to be underwhelmed. Now, for those of you who have not seen the film, or have not heard anything about it, here is a short synopsis. Earth has been completely destroyed by an alien force...ok, it wasn't really destroyed by an alien force. Humans destroy earth when we use nukes to take out the alien force during the invasion.  With the earth now uninhabitable humans have taken to the skies, or one of the moons of Jupiter to be more precise. Jack (Cruise) and his lovely partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are the last humans left on earth guarding machines left on the planet to harvest water from our oceans. With only two weeks left before Jack and Victoria are finished with this job and leave the planet mysterious things begin to happen that make Jack question his past along with what might be happening on the planet. I will stop here with my synopsis to avoid spoiling the film for anyone who has not seen it yet (I hate spoilers). This film is actually a pretty solid science fiction film. The story is compelling, and the cinematography is no less than amazing. Coupled with the incredible special effects this film has the makings of what should have been one of the best films of this year. The acting performances are great and the action sequences are incredible, but some where along the way I felt as if the story lost itself in the message. Clocking in at 2 hours and 5 minutes the film is just way too long and a bit predictable. Pacing is a big issue in many films and I believe it was the problem for Oblivion. Each twist that was thrown my way was little to no surprise simply because the director allowed me more than enough time to figure it out between action sequences. Don't get me wrong, I like a well thought out plot and I love a long film that takes it's time building characterization, but all this can be overdone when you have only a few characters to begin with and the plot isn't complex at all. That being said, I recommend that all scifi fans go see this film in the theaters so that we can discuss it once again after "Elysium" releases in August.