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Oblivion Film Review @clopez26
Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion is a thrilling, action-packed, and engaging science fiction film with great ambition. Unfortunately, it doesn't reach the great heights it aspires to. What's left is a very good film that admirably tried to be more, which is more than can be said for most movies these days.
Oblivion takes place on a ruined Earth devastated by warfare with an alien race. Tom Cruise's character, Jack Harper, is a repairmen who fixes weaponized drones that protect fusion rigs making energy out of Earth's water from the aliens left on the planet. When a ship crash lands with human passengers, Jack's world turns upside down as he tries to find the truth.
As usual, Tom Cruise delivers a great performance as Jack Harper. He carries the film on his shoulders and delivers. His journey to find the truth is effectively portrayed and provides the right energy to keep things interesting as the revelations pile up throughout the film. Andrea Riseborough delivers an excellent performance as well as Jack's partner and lover, Victoria. Her chemistry with Cruise helped sell their future rift as they're pulled apart by Jack's revelations. Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Nikolaj Costar-Waldau give adequate performances but their usage in the film left a little to be desired. I felt like more could've been done with each of them, but the little that they did get to contribute was effective.
The special effects were a sight to behold and weren't distracting at all. It would've been easy for Kosinski and co. to just put Cruise in front of a blue screen for the whole movie, but they decided to incorporate real outdoor settings and real sets which made the film feel more authentic. If they had overdone the effects to the point that Oz the Great and Powerful did, then it would've been an unnecessary hindrance that drags the movie down. Along with the special effects, the action was very well done. From chases to shootouts, each action sequence delivered the thrills.
Ultimately, all of that boils down to a film that was very good, but a few steps short of the greatness it was aspiring to. I feel like if the action had been just a little bigger, or the threat more dangerous, or if the story was emotionally stronger, then it would've taken the next step to great. Nothing in the movie made me say "wow" or connect with me in a lasting way so I couldn't give it that one extra bump to say it was great. However, the fact that Kosinski tried was a welcome sight.
Oblivion: 4/5 stars
Update: After seeing this movie again, I have to bump my rating up to five stars. I'm giving it another star because i love the fact that Joseph Kosinski did try to deliver more with this movie. I feel like he's a really good up and coming director. It was nice to see a movie try to be more than just a run-of-the-mill, disposable sci-fi film. I really admire that effort in a time where it seems like a lot of movies barely try anymore. It's directors like Kosinski who will be part of the future. If he continues to improve his craft, he could be in for a really good career. Oblivion is a sign of that.