Josh Wilding Reviews: OBLIVION (IMAX)
Is it a sci-fi masterpiece or is the movie, ahem, Cruise-ing for a bruising in this spoiler-free review of Joseph Kosinski's (TRON: Legacy) Oblivion? And is it worth seeing in IMAX?! Well, you can find out by hitting the jump to check out my verdict!
Oblivion marks Joseph Kosinski's first movie since the polarising TRON: Legacy back in 2010, and while I really enjoyed that for the most part, I walked into this one very unsure as to what to expect. However, this beautifully shot and masterfully directed sci-fi thriller couldn't be any different. The world created by Kosinski is incredible, not only from a visual perspective, but also for just how easily it draws you in and how very convincing it is from start to finish. The special effects are flawless and Oblivion separates itself from similar post apocalyptic fare by showing us a barren wasteland with only a few notable reminders of what the Earth once was rather than any heavy handed iconography. Kosinski also has a fantastic handle on action, turning even the most normal and mundane of sequences into pulse pounding, real edge of your seat excitement!
So, from all the praise being heaped on Oblivion so far, you might be thinking that we're talking about a modern classic in terms of the genre. Sadly not. While the movie IS original in some respects, there are far too many familiar elements borrowed from other films that worked far better in those than it does here. However, that can be easily forgiven when compared to the many faults that plague the screenplay. The film features a lot of clever twists and turns, but waits far too long to turn over all its cards, meaning that the final act becomes a slog to sit through as you struggle to remember everything and how exactly it all fits together. In fact, Oblivion strikes me as the kind of film which will be far more rewarding on a second viewing. The happy ending also feels unnecessary and tacked on, ultimately lessening the impact of what came before.
Oblivion hinges on Tom Cruise's performance and he is as fantastic as ever here. He goes through a lot during the course of the movie and never struggles to make 'Jack' a relateable and likeable lead who it's easy to root for. Andrea Riseborough is also fantastic as 'Victoria', and it would be great to see this lead to more appearances in similar big budget blockbusters. However, the rest of the cast don't impress anywhere near as much. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is completely wasted in a role which should have been considerably more fleshed out for such a brilliant actor. Morgan Freeman completely phones it in and Olga Kurylenko is ok, but just a very poorly written character.
M83's soundtrack has been one of the most discussed aspects of the movie so far, and it's easily as epic and superb as the hype has made it out to be! It works perfectly with the world that Kosinski has created here and elevates Oblivion to a whole other level of "epicness" as Hans Zimmer's work did on The Dark Knight Trilogy. Seeing the film in IMAX is also a must, and while the fact it wasn't shot with those cameras means you probably won't miss out on all that much if you aren't able to make it to one of the plus sized screens, it really does look incredible up there on the biggest of big screens. Dare I say it, but it's almost a shame that they didn't decide to do a good 3D conversion of this release as there are a lot of scenes which would have genuinely benefited from it.
Intelligent, visually stunning and led by an excellent performance from Tom Cruise, this flawed sci-fi epic adds up to a good (but not quite great) movie.
2013 Reviews So Far...
• The Last Stand (3/5)
• Bullet To The Head (1/5)
• Wreck-It Ralph (4/5)
• A Good Day To Die Hard (2/5)
• Warm Bodies (4/5)
• Mama (3/5)
• Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D (3/5)
• Oz: The Great and Powerful 3D (4/5)
• Evil Dead (4/5)
• G.I. Joe: Retaliation 3D (3/5)
Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion, an original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the director of TRON: Legacy and the producer of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind.
Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack’s mission is nearly complete.
Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautifulstranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.
Tom Cruise as Jack Harper
Olga Kurylenko as Julia
Morgan Freeman as Malcolm Beech
Zoe Bell as Kara
Andrea Riseborough as Victoria
Melissa Leo as Sally
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes
RELEASE DATE: April 19th, 2013
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