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    May 23, 2013


    Tom Cruise's Oblivion initiates the sci-fi apocalyptic genre of 2013 with not so much of a bang. The genre will also see two more be coming later in the summer - Will Smith's After Earth and Matt Damon's Elysium. When I say it is not coming with a bang, I do not mean that it is generally bad. Oblivion is still a good sci-fi entry with beauty periscope on its canvass but it relies too much on our familiarity of this genre to drive it forward. In this review, I will give you the good and the bad about Oblivion, which itself a graphic novel adaptation, directed and written by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy).

    Genre: Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Fantasy
    Classification: P13
    Release Date: 11 April 2013
    Running Time: 125 minutes
    Distributor: Universal Pictures
    Director: Joseph Kosinski
    Screenplay: Joseph Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek, Michael DeBruyn
    Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough , Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo

    Plot: Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion, an original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the visionary director of TRON: Legacy and producers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man's confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind. 2077: Jack Harper (Cruise) serves as a security repairmen stationed on an evacuated Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying alien threat who still scavenges what's left of our planet, Jack's mission is almost complete. In a matter of two weeks, he will join the remaining survivors on a lunar colony far from the war-torn world he has long called home. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, Jack's soaring existence is brought crashing down after he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Drawn to Jack through a connection that transcends logic, her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he thought he knew. With a reality that is shattered as he discovers shocking truths that connect him to Earth of the past, Jack will be pushed to a heroism he didn't know he contained within. The fate of humanity now rests solely in the hands of a man who believed our world was soon to be lost forever.

    In the year 2077, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is the last few surviving humans on earth, stationed on a dying earth which was plagued by a catastrophic alien invasion 60 years ago. His job is to maintain battle drones on earth and is counting his times to finally able to rejoin other humans currently residing in Titan. One bizarre event after another, Jack learns of something from his past that will shakes everything he ever knew. He meets Julia (Olga Kurylenko), a woman whom he saved among the chaotic rescue mission. Julia shows him some daunting facts and the whole reality becomes what it is that stands between him and his past.

    Joseph Kosinski's next directorial effort following the lackluster Tron: Legacy, is an overall improvement. But it is not without any flaws that truly undermine the potential of Oblivion in a greater scale. While the story is certainly neater than Tron and coated with strong mystery, the plot still suffers with uneven pacing. There are numerous parts where things get too draggy and as if the writers are letting the story to burn by itself with limited source of attraction. As I have noticed too, the uneven pacing is further propagated when the movie rushes through some important back-stories and expositions, but takes too long to tackle the unnecessary parts. Those who are interested to see more apocalyptic battle may be left disappointed with the limited set-pieces portrayed.

    But this movie gives a serviceable plot too, nevertheless. The first act of the movie is clouded by interesting questions and unique setups, while the second half of illustrates some basic answers to those questions with satisfactory. The opening fifteen minutes basically tells all we need to know about the settings and the setups of Oblivion. The story deals heavily on the central role of Jack Harper and Victoria's routine life, occasionally filled with self-conscious events and emotional awareness that contemplates a relatively standard sprue of science fiction. But the arrival of characters like Julia and Beech (Morgan Freeman) adds more stack and mystery into the plot. The level of plot exposition is heighten but is certainly expected to have some twists and game-changers floating.

    Oblivion never positions itself to challenge some of the classic space odyssey or apocalyptic science fictions. It is not a mind-bending experience or a deep science fiction that truly sets itself been distinguished. But the acceptable plot story becomes a worthy experience in a cinematic scale, thanks to the visionary landscape and apocalyptic 2077 as created by Kosinski and cinematographer Claudio Miranda, as well as some stunning visual effects that truly mesmerizing. M83, the French electronic band provides a soothing and equivalently impactful soundtrack that reminiscent Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy in almost every angle.

    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.5
    Effects: 4.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 14.0/20.0

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