Written January 20, 2017
'Oblivion' reminds me somehow of 'The Matrix'. Even though they are two different kinds of sci-fi, I see similarities: a world that is not what it seems, a man unaware he is living a lie, a wise old soldier who leads him to the truth (Lawrence Fishburne in 'The Matrix', Morgan Freeman here). And maybe that's the problem with 'Oblivion'; where 'The Matrix' gave us something we haven't seen before, 'Oblivion' is stylish, visually impressive, and second-hand. Yes, Tom Cruise is an O.K. actor, but he is always TOM CRUISE, MOVIE STAR, and you never see the character he portrays. Andrea Riseborough plays his mission-obsessed maybe-wife and is much more convincing, while former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko is literally the woman of his dreams (and mine, too!), whom we don't get to see enough of in movies and who seems strangely passive here.
One too many plot twists and its ponderous length drag this film down to *** 1/2; a shorter, tighter film is needed.
Written May 17, 2013
As in "Tron: Legacy," constant Kubrick references force unkind comparisons. From HAL-eyed drones to a cartoonishly Southern-accented mission controller to a ship named Odyssey to one habitat's color scheme perfectly matching the "2001" moon shuttle interior, it's all kind of sad. It becomes a laugher as Cruise is revealed as a thousand Star Child clones! Which maybe reflects both Cruise's stated awe of "2001" and his Scientological vision of himself as a reincarnated perfect being. Mimicking Kubrick's real candlelit scenes to claim some perfectionist cred while allowing dark action scenes to retain poor quality contrast and blur is phony, non-adult behavior, but Kosinki's movies are for kids. Kubrick wannabes need to start where he did, not dolly shots or prod. design but with tough CONTENT. See "Moon" instead. Incredibly similar isolated clone worker story, except they mine helium-3 instead of salt water. Salt water for energy? "Moon" has valid Kubrickisms w/out the bloat.
Written May 01, 2016
I loved it.
Written May 27, 2016
Throughout this movie, I was constantly reminded of movies like The Matrix, Planet of the Apes, Moon, 2001 and a little bit of Minority Report (a Cruise movie). Some would say that this is being derivative; others would say that's it's just ripping them off. It looks good and Cruise does a good job with what he has to work with, but I was actually bored through much of it and none of the twists/suprises were really suprising, just confusing. I was hoping for a lot more.
I was also disappointed in the Morgan Freeman character (can't remember his name); after a great introduction, he just just kind of fades away and has no real purpose in the movie until the end. His character could've been played by anybody, so all of the passion, fire and talent that Freeman has is wasted.
Overall, I'd give it a "C". Not really worth going to the theatre to see; wait for the DVD to rent.
Written July 26, 2016
I like science fiction and this was a real treat. I got the story. The writer had some imagination. The movie had action so you couldn't get bored. I enjoyed it.