I have to admit the trailer for the Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, peaked my interest, especially after Cruise’s Jack Reacher, which was filmed in my native Pittsburgh, ended up being such a success. As always, I’ll leave my initial reactions in the first part and a spoiler edition in the second half.
I’ve never read the book so I knew nothing about the plot aside from what the trailer gave me going into this movie. However, early on it kept my interest. It slowly began to give more details into Cruise’s character, Jack Harper, as the story progressed. Vic, his “girlfriend”, seemed to be excited to get off the planet and head for the Tet, which is the space station that all the humans are living at aside from Jack and Vic (no I’m not spoiling anything). Jack retells Vic the story of the last Super Bowl that was played, and in a later scene they show Jack visiting a small shack with a bunch of material possessions stored there, a shack that appears to be his, giving the audience the impression that he doesn’t want to leave. In the second half of the movie, things get a lot more complex with a few unexpected surprises. While most of these aren’t hard to follow, some do have unrealistic components, ones that seem to be closing all loose ends rather than trying to make sense. Morgan Freeman, who is supposed to be the secondary star actor in this movie, was in the movie for a total of no longer than 20 minutes, which was a huge disappointment. I’m sure it is a fair statement to say the ending was highly controversial, as it required you to take a lot of things for granted and just assume the director/writers know what they’re talking about.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
90-100 It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3)
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile.
70-79 It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.
60-69 It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one.
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this.
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this.
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb.
20-29 What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow.
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE”.
My score for Oblivion: 72.
*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the problems with this movie that arose was the idea of cloning. While it was probably the only way to somehow get Jack Harper on the aliens side aside from brainwashing, cloning means there are more than one you on the planet, and what happens if two of you run into each other, etc. Another problem was that as the movie moves on, you as the viewer realize that the Jack Harper you’ve been staring at the whole movie isn’t actually Jack Harper, he’s one of the clones. The idea of clone Harper having the same feelings/emotions as the real Harper isn’t too far-fetched because if he’s a perfect replica, I suppose that makes sense. However, the ending involves clone Harper dying in the nuclear blast and three years later, another clone Harper appears at the shack where Harper’s wife and newborn girl are living. First, if a clone impregnated a human being, what is the byproduct of that? A normal human or a half-clone half-human? That’s confusing just thinking about it. Then, you have to assume the writers are correct in saying that this new clone Harper is the same person as the previous Harper that just died. Now in theory I suppose that’s how cloning is supposed to work, but in practicality I have a tough time believing that. In a way, it’s saying that whenever Harper dies, all his wife needs to do is find another Harper clone to replace him with. What???!!! Also, can you really love someone that is a clone of the person you actually loved, let alone a clone of a clone? All your experiences and memories that you once shared are gone, so she would have to detail to the clone every experience that they ever had. I don’t know about you, but that sounds iffy to me. Finally, during the scene when the three drones are shooting up the rebel base, Freeman’s character, Beech, engages in a battle with a drone, machine guns blazing. Following the conclusion of the battle, Beech is lying on the floor with numerous bullet holes, giving the audience the image that Beech is seconds from death. Then, when Harper takes the nuke to the Tet, Beech jumps out of the capsule pod to set off the nuke with Harper. What?! Really?! That capsule pod might be able to put you to sleep for a long time, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t stop you from dying. Beech would have died a long time ago. What was the problem with an empty capsule? It seems unnecessary to place a character that would have died a long time ago in a later scene where he’s really not needed. If this movie didn’t have so many confusing, scratch-head scenes to it, it would have been a must-buy for me, but these questionable events coupled with a weak conclusion really hurt the final product for me.