Film review: Oblivion (8 out of 10)

The sci-fi genre is an interesting area of film-making. You can make a half-decent movie by throwing lots of money at the effects.

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Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion.Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion.
Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion.

However, it’s very difficult to come up with a plot that is new, intriguing and ultimately satisfying.

Oblivion is a good movie but just falls short of being a great one.

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It does have Tom Cruise who just revels in action films and there’s plenty of shooting and chasing to satisfy him.

With any sci-fi movie you have two choices with the science bit - ignore it or try to explain it.

Unforunately, with Oblivion we only have some explanations, leaving holes in the plot that leave you scratching your head.

The story sees a future Earth which has battled with alien invaders (Scavs). We have won the war but the planet has been decimated.

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Most people have gone off to Titan to settle there, leaving a drone repairman (Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) who keeps in contact with the main station as the planet’s resources are plundered.

The drones are excellent and play a big part in the film as they scoot around blasting any of the remaining aliens into pieces.

In fact, all the hardware is impressive, especially Jack’s ‘ship’ that zips around with amazing speed and control.

Jack’s life, though, starts to fall apart when he discovers a crashed spacecraft that contains the answers to some strange dreams he has been having.

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If you’ve seen the trailer you will have seen Morgan Freeman looking rather menacing and he certainly revels in his role.

However, I can’t go into details about his part as there are some quite clever twists and turns in the second half that work well.

Director (plus writer and producer) Joseph Kosinski knows his sci-fi, having directed Tron: Legacy and is in the running for the Tron sequel and the remake of The Black Hole.

He certainly zips the action along in Oblivion and uses the barren wasteland to good effect.

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But this is definitely one of those movies that you hope will answer questions that get thrown up along the way, but in the end raises even more.

Film details: Oblivion (12A) 126mins

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

Steve Payne

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