Oblivion (2013)

Oblivion was 2013’s Tom Cruise vehicle but it wasn’t the frantic action movie audiences have come to expect from Cruise. Instead, Oblivion proved itself a sold, thoughtful science fiction movie, albeit one with enough action, intrigue and budgetary backing to justify the ‘blockbuster’ tag.
Cruise plays Jack, a veteran engineer employed to harvest an apparently dying Earth’s remaining resources. Cruise is ably supported by Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman and more, but for much of the film, Jack is alone. This allows the audience to unravel the mystery from Jack’s perspective and the mystery is a doosy. For we soon discover that Jack has reason to distrust every piece of information he is given, even those supplied by his own memory.
There are some tense moments in Oblivion as well as several dramatic reveals. The effects are excellent, the acting top notch and the production values all that you might expect. This is not your standard Tom Cruise movie by any means and that may alienate some viewers, expecting a guns and thunder action movie.
Oblivion isn’t slow, it isn’t dull but it does require that one thinks about what they’re watching.
If that doesn’t sound like too much work, then I fully recommend checking this movie out. It may not be the best or most original sci-fi film you’ll see, but it is entertaining and it certainly raises some pertinent issues. Should you desire a more straightforward Tom Cruise action vehicle, I suggest checking out Edge of Tomorrow which comes out soon. (Although for all its action, Edge of Tomorrow does deal with time travel and that tends to get complicated too).
Either way, Oblivion is worth a look at some stage, even if it’s just for Morgan Freeman’s typically wonderful (if short-lived role) as Beech.


Review by Dave Coughlan

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