“”Oblivion” Is A Beautiful Film, Though Muddled Storytelling Almost Scuttle It.”
When critics criticized Joseph Kosinski’s “Oblivion” for the ideas it borrows from other (often better) films, they weren’t kidding. Some instances fall more in the area of homage than outright theft, though there are moments, particularly the last half hour or so, that are so blatantly lifted from “The Matrix” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” that residuals should be paid to Lena and Larry Warschowski and Robert Wise.
In fact, during the sequence in question I – honestly – was waiting for V’Ger to turn up.
I am not kidding. It’s that blatant.
But most movies borrow ideas and concepts from other films – though they aren’t usually so obvious – so that’s not that unusual. What is is that this film didn’t go through a few more re-writes because it could have used it.
There were strategically-placed voiceovers at various parts of the film, which are necessary because otherwise this movie would make no sense at all.
And even with them, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on till the end. And I don’t mean in a good, “Twilight Zone,” way, I mean in a mediocre kind of way.
Jack (Tom Cruise) is a repairman, who works with Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), repairing the drones that protect the equipment that’s used for water mining, which is done for the purpose of making energy for humanity, who have located to Saturn’s moon, Titan.
The aliens, called ‘Scavengers,’ or ‘Scavs,’ have not been wiped out, and have been sabotaging the water mining equipment.
Or so it seems….
There’s a twist that that comes about midway that makes sense in context, but leading up to it you have no idea what’s happening.
Kosinski’s film is beautiful, with great production design (which makes sense, since he’s working with many of the same people that made “Tron: Legacy” so attractive) though there remains a coldness, a distance to his way of shooting and directing that doesn’t help his cause.
“Oblivion,” though a little long, is well worth catching because it has some genuinely interesting moments, and beautiful production design and special effects, though the lazy storytelling almost ruin it.