I had no desire to see Oblivion in cinemas because it looked pretty run of the mill and with the price of cinema tickets, I’m picky with what I’ll pay to see there.
It wasn’t until after it left cinemas that people who’s opinions I respect recommended I give it a go. Well, I found it for $7 on blu-ray in a second hand shop so I figured why the fuck not, right?
It looked like it was going to be beautiful and I’m not a Cruise hater like many others, even though I get the hate. When he gets it right, he’s great to watch. When he doesn’t, it’s just like watching Tom Cruise on the screen. None of us actually like him as a person so yeah, I get it.
Basically, I wasn’t impressed overall which I always expected but it’s a shame my initial impressions weren’t blown away. I always love when I’m wrong that way.
The story really wasn’t all it could’ve been which is hurt more by the fact that they blatantly ripped a major plot point off a far superior sci-fi film (and kinda another which was/is also a ground breaking sci-fi classic) that I’ll refrain from naming because it would just give it away if you have see that film(s) but haven’t seen Oblivion and may want to.
If you’re a sci-fi fan, chances are you’ve seen the one’s I’m referring to. If you’re a sci-fi fan and you’ve seen Oblivion, you almost definitely know what I’m talking about.
There’s also a couple annoying plot holes that personally stuck out like a sore thumb and took me out of what was initially a pretty enveloping experience. I admit, I was actually really, really digging Oblivion for a while even with its Hollywood clichés.
As I said, sometimes Tom Cruise gets it right and I feel he mostly did a great job in Oblivion. The writing wasn’t anything approaching groundbreaking and he did good with what he had. He really shines in the film’s more nuanced moments.
There are other negatives I could rattle on about but honestly, it was a Hollywood picture. I knew what I was getting into, even if it was recommended by some cool people. I knew that if there was obvious complexities, I’d have to sit through having them explained to me and that if other area’s of the story were introduced they would be ignored in favour of spending that time with possible love interests. I was right. No big surprises there which is a shame but expected.
There were things I liked about Oblivion though. I liked that lesser known actresses were used in this film. It always helps a blockbuster feel more real if I’m not too familiar with many of the faces.
Occasionally I’ll let myself sit back and enjoy movies that rely a bit too much on their beautiful visual effects but for as dumb as Oblivion kind of is, it doesn’t rely too much on it’s absolutely stunning cinematography and visual effects and they were an absolute joy to behold.
The best parts of the movie for me were the more nuanced moments which there is quite a few early on. As the movie progresses it becomes more and more typical Hollywood fare in pretty much every way. Some of the action sequences are definitely thrilling and important to the plot but there’s some that were clearly there to avoid a slower pace which is a shame.
My favourite thing about Oblivion was without a doubt the score. God damn. Oblivion isn’t a great film if you’ve already seen and appreciate the better films which inspired its more important elements but GOD DAMN! It features a terrific score. Every moment of it was an eargasm for me.
Honestly, if you’re a fan of good film scores, I can pretty much recommend Oblivion based solely on it’s score. It actually kind of bums me out that some of the best parts should’ve been longer and could’ve been if this film favoured a more deliberately paced, nuanced direction. It’s that good. The blu-ray comes with a separate isolated soundtrack of it, and I’ll definitely be listening to it.
I give Oblivion a 3/5. The beautiful visuals, exciting and powerful score , decent and somewhat non-Tom Cruisey performance with the occasionally enjoyable nuanced moments aren’t enough to ascend it much higher than an average film. This is pretty lazy filmmaking. There are other movies that inspired it I could recommend considerably higher. However, if you’re looking for something brainless and entertaining, this is a pretty safe bet.
I’m not much of a blockbuster fan. Not enough of them make a real effort to ascend further than acceptable “popcorn flick” entertainment and Oblivion pretty much falls into that category for me.
It just wasn’t all it could’ve been and was uneven. The movie is consistently beautiful and the so is the score but that’s all that’s consistent about it. It’s an otherwise average film with some nuanced moments to make it seem deeper.