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Oblivion (2013)

April 25, 2013

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It is 2077, a future where Earth is in shambles after foreign invaders have destroyed our moon leaving its scattered remnants visible in the night sky. Doing so, these invaders known as Scavengers, or Scavs, have cleverly allowed nature to takes its course as the fractured moon threw off tides and caused major natural disasters that wiped out most of the human race. They invaded in warfare shortly after finishing the job, but were no match for our nuclear power. Humans evacuated Earth to reside on Saturn’s moon, Titan, leaving behind Jack Harper and his partner Victoria, an effective team who reside in a swanky sealed off high-rise tower.

Their job is simple enough: repair the hydro-generators that extract ocean water from the planet for usage on Titan and kill the remaining Scavs attempting to destroy the machines. Yet, Jack can’t help but feel apprehension about leaving the planet he feels attached to as he is haunted by memories of a life on earth with a mysterious woman, despite having had his memory wiped five years before. His curiosity inevitably leads him into Scav territory where he opens a can of worms about the conspiracy of what his job on Earth really is.

I enjoy science fiction films, but I wouldn’t call the genre my “thing.” Oblivion reminded me why. I can’t help but feeling that in sci-fi films I tend to get lost in its complexities. My brain starts over-analyzing all the elements and begins working overtime to understand all the concepts that are being displayed. When characters start discussing things like molecular structures or hydrogen sulphate among a slew of other words I can’t pronounce or comprehend, it takes a second or two for me to wrap my head around understanding it all. On top of grasping a language of science that just doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m also having focusing on what’s driving the story and how characters are reacting to their situations. Oblivion’s story is so convoluted that initially, I just couldn’t grasp what was going on—which wasn’t helped by the gaping plot holes throughout the film.

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The overall story of Oblivion, while interesting, falters due to the film ultimately not being able to explain or possibly even understand its own complexities. Not only did I ponder what the hydrogen generations were actually used for but also what was the purpose of the villain? Or how is survival on Earth possible when all of its resources are gone? Among a slew of other spoiler worthy questions. Also the implications that Oblivion makes for the theory of the soul is so huge that I don’t think writer/director Joseph Konsinski truly grasped it. He raises interesting but illogical questions of memory and the soul and how the two are connected.

That doesn’t make Oblivion anything less than a good film, however. Despite moments of triteness and being more confused by the end of the film than I was during its beginning, I actually enjoyed the overall experience. I may not be crazy about sci-fi films, but I am a hardcore space junkie and the ingenuity and cleverness of how the future and space are displayed is beautifully impressive. Stumble onto my Pinterest at any given moment and you’ll discover I’m a slag for 1970s décor and interior design, so getting to see rounded edges and sleek cleanliness of the future as par the vision of the 70s was pleasant eye-candy as is Konsinski’s phenomenal direction and use of special effects.

Oblivion is a film that’s a bit meh. It’s somewhere in a slightly happy medium of not great, but not bad either. Had the writers gotten a better grasp of their story and were able to tell a cohesive story, we’d have a hallmark among sci-fi films. Instead they missed the mark creating a cheap story with a pretty face.

SEE IT. The visuals alone are enough to make it worth the watch.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 29, 2016 8:05 AM

    good movie, thanks for article

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