In the very first scene of Oblivion we listen to our protagonist Jack Harper explain the lay of the land, what’d happened to Earth after an alien invasion. It almost felt like the Morgan Freeman narration from War of The Worlds, but this time it was Tom Cruise who was reciting and for a moment I thought Oblivion would bring the same magnificence that War of The Worlds had brought. Half way through the movie I thought again: “This movie cant even be compared to War of The Worlds”.
Oblivion comes from Joseph Kosinski who previously gave us the uber-cool Tron Legacy. While Tron Legacy gave us Oblivion does promise arresting Visuals. From the barren vistas of the now abandoned Earth, the Apple-glossy SkyTowers and the intimidating Tet all contribute to the over-all visual splendor. Kosinski had the eye for visuals and as evident from Tron Legacy he was extra keen on delivering astounding visuals in Oblivion too…though rather forgetting about other aspects of an entertaining movie. I felt, the movie is filled with unnecessary dialogue-driven sequences and philosophical babble. Moreover it had striking resemblances with movies of the yesteryear such as Minority Report & Wall-E. A more prominent similitude is with Duncan Jones’ Moon (People! If you still havent seen Moon I suggest its high time that you do).
Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper although he portrays his role with utmost sincerity but the role itself seemed one dimensional. Olga Kurylenko’s beauty was more of a distraction to conceal her still-amateur acting skills. Its a shame that Game of Thrones’ Kingslayer Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was reduced to a merc with few lines as well as a few minutes of screen time. Morgan Freeman does what he does best: Explain the lay of things, but in a sever underwritten role. Of the lot I felt Andrea Riseborough shined through as Victoria. I haven’t seen much of her before and she was surprisingly showing off her acting prowess via profuse emotions of love, lust and jealousy.
The progressive score and themes of Anthony Gonzalez/M.8.3/Joseph Trapanese had another unavoidable resemblance with Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack. While its touching and perfectly in sync with the visuals it wasn’t comparable to the sheer grandeur of Tron Legacy’s score.
I was glad that it wasn’t in 3D. But a drone chase sequence and a couple of other sections made me wish that the single sequence could have been effectively orchestrated in 3D.
Joseph Kosinski’s name had been etched in my mind since the day I saw previews of Tron Legacy. The visionary director of such caliber could have made Oblivion stand out from the usual line-up of sci-fi flicks. “could” being the keyword here Oblivion did make its mark but to a humble degree. Kosinski’s ambitious project falls flat under the weight of unoriginality, a thin script and pacing issues but aside from that Oblivion makes for a fair deal for casual moviegoers.