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Review

‘Oblivion’ passes as average sci-fi flick

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May 2, 2013

“Oblivion” comes to theaters with a science fiction story of identity, lies and heroism that manages to be a fairly enjoyable sci-fi flick.

Sixty years ago the world was ravaged by an alien menace which put humanity on a space station to survive. Humans still on Earth have been cleaning up the remains of their home, with two left on the planet to finish their job. These are Jack Harper and Victoria, who have worked as a team to fix robots and machinery on the planet for some time now, and have never questioned what came before their erased memories.

Jack begins to question his past when visions of a woman and the Empire State Building flash back into his memory and send him on the path to discovering his past, a group of revolutionaries and the truth of what happened to Earth. Through it all, Jack will need to stay true to himself and find out what means truest to him, his mission or what lies beyond the lies.

I admit to not knowing much of “Oblivion” before I went to see it, other than that Tom Cruise was going to be in it, so I really didn’t know what to think of the film at first. I knew well enough  that I was to expect a science fiction story, and my standards were then adjusted. After it all, I can at least say it was above average in its performance.
What “Oblivion” excels at is production and direction; the sprawling landscapes of post-invasion Earth are astoundingly well rendered and all sci-fi elements in the movie are sleek and gritty in their design. The direction is fine to a point, with good shots and camera usage to complement the special effects. The two work well together to make this into a very pretty picture to watch.

The plot, however, suffers from just being average in certain respects. While I did get some enjoyment out of seeing character Jack fight supposed aliens and use his head in situations, his interactions with other characters like his partner Victoria can feel distant and underdeveloped at some points. It is one of the few instances where I felt that a movie could use more dialogue to help push along the characters and their relationships.

As well the general plot feels slightly off. The payoff was fairly nice, but the middle part of the movie gets somewhat bogged down in the confusing plot details and highly cliché twist that comes up later. It’s worth mentioning that the movie was meant to serve as a tribute to science fiction movies of old, and the twist will definitely feel confusing to a lot of audience members.

“Oblivion,” at the very least, succeeds at being the sci-fi film that it wanted to be. While the punch doesn’t connect in some parts, it delivers well in others that make it an experience that I can at least say was enjoyable enough. As far as it can be said, “Oblivion” is fine for those seeking to crave their sci-fi craving, but if you are wanting more out of your sci-fi experience, then this might be one film to pass up.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.