Saturday, 13 April 2013

#34: OBLIVION (11.4.13)

Starring Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman and directed by that bloke what directed that other Science Fiction vacuum, Tron Legacy.

It's the future, 60 years after a failed alien invasion that destroyed the moon and left the world in stylish and iconic ruin. Most of mankind have pissed off to Titan (Come to think of it, I think this film  might actually be a live-action sequel to animated non-classic, Titan AE) leaving behind huge machines that are mining the world of its natural resources, and two people whose job it is to monitor, repair and protect those huge machines. (oh no, wait. The Earth got destroyed in Titan AE, so this can't be a sequel. So, please ignore that reference and move on.) These caretakers have had their minds conveniently scrubbed of memories so as to protect them should they fall into the hands of any alien survivors. However one of the caretakers, Ethan Hunt is having strange dreams of a time before the invasion, when he was head of a covert, super-secret team of secret agents tasked with conducting missions that are classified as 'impossible'!

Now he has 7740 seconds to save the world before it self destructs!

What a pretty looking film, I for one can't wait to live in a world so elegant, so beautiful in its splendid isolation, or one so rich in still functioning 20th entertainment technology like music centers and unscratched LPs.

This is a film looking for it's twist, a twist to leave you gasping and stunned, shocked and surprised, as audiences were back in 1968 when the first Planet of the Apes film opened and the Planet of the Apes was revealed to be the Earth! Oh, shit I forgot to add a SPOILER ALERT! before that.

In recent years, there seems to have been a move to shoe-horn some shocking reveal into every science fiction film as if that in itself is more important that an a decent plot or story. Something so shattering, so amazing you'll want to tell as many of your friends as possible to go and see it for yourselves!

Well, don't go this for that reason. It's really not that shocking or surprising and not worth hooking a whole film around.

This is from the man who made Tron Legacy another beautiful looking film utterly bereft of anything approaching a good story, but at least that one had a great sound track. Oblivion has that lovely booming BWAAAA!!! sound made famous by Inception. Boy, that trick got old quickly didn't it? However I don't think it'll last as long as that awful shakycam crap that the Bjorn films introduced.

So, in a nutshell Oblivion is, on the surface, a great looking and stylish film with some superb design work and special effects but beneath the surface, it's sadly an empty husk filled with scruffy looking Mad Max 2 cast offs wearing Predator masks and smoking Huge Cuban cigars (another surprising survivor of the apocalypse). 

Still it looks great up on a big screen.


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