By Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation
(Victorville) Science Fiction films often offer the ultimate escape from reality. Isn’t that why we see movies in the first place, to escape? Yet, with so many films in the genre, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and War of the Worlds to only name a fraction, it can be hard to stand out above the rest. With Oblivion, the trailers have been amazing, the hype couldn’t be stronger, but does the film fly with the greats, or is it just another film trying to fly with the big boys?
Created by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy), Oblivion was originally planned as a comic book through Radical Comics. Yet, here we are in 2013 with the movie released and only a preview comic book produced as a convention special. The film centers around Jack (Tom Cruise), a drone repairman on an Earth that has fallen to ruins. After the moon exploded and the nukes dropped, humanity fled off planet, with Earth used only as a means of resources. Paired with Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), the eyes and ears of the team, they work tirelessly to fix the drones that are being attacked by wild scavengers. But all is not what it seems, not at all.
Cruise delivers a top-notch performance, showing that he is still an action film heavyweight in his own right. The ladies in Jack’s life, Victoria and Julia (Olga Kurylenko), both fit in naturally into a film that is more about humanity than one might think from the trailer. Morgan Freeman plays a mysterious character that butts heads with Jack on more than one occasion, but knows more about the world than most.
The world Kosinski created is one of absolute wonder, with homages to the sci-fi films that came before it as sign of respect. You will see nods to Star Wars, Independence Day, and the one that I picked up on right away, La Jetée, a 1960’s French science fiction film. The designs, the imagery, it all adds up to one extraordinary and memorable experience.
I had been waiting on this film since I first heard that the comic had been optioned for a film. Oblivion doesn’t disappoint: actually, it’s one of the best films of the year in my opinion. Cruise shines once again with a very talented cast, and the twists during the film will keep you guessing until the end. The film is worth the price of admission and then some, highly recommended.