The silent stalker movie of the year is likely to be Oblivion. As a movie, it seemed to only have the Tom Cruise cheerleaders and a poster bearing the guru-like presence of Morgan Freeman to entice us. We’ve seen the trailers to give us a sense that this SciFi story could have some legs but there appears to be a lack of the usual Hollywood marketing hype that you might expect. After an evening in IMAX heaven, I can now tell you this is a must-see event for the popcorn-loving alien paranoid moviegoers amongst us.
Brought to life by Joseph Kosinski, the comic book writer, and architect come Director of Tron, it exudes every essence of the phrase ‘Visual Masterpiece’. Kosinski has drawn on his architectural prowess to deliver a mesh of landscapes and man-made collaborations in a post-Apocalyptic world. The locations predominantly were shot across the US with CGI bringing iconic structures into play but many of the scenes drew on locations in Iceland to deliver a picture of a world rocked by earthquakes and land slowly becoming devoid of water. The story for this movie was something Kosinski had been working on as a graphic novel since 2005. It was this story that first brought him to the attention of the movie makers although his initial director’s chair role was to helm TRON: Legacy.
As we begin the Oblivion story we find Jack and Victoria played by Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough filling the role of the maintenance crew on planet earth. We’re told the war was hard-won but 60 years ago we overcame the invaders. By destroying earth’s moon they had left planet Earth in an unlivable state. Now the maintenance team are taking care of the creation of fusion energy from the leftover seawater. The energy that will keep man alive for years to come on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. All is well for Jack with only two weeks before he and Victoria can sign off on their tour of duty and join the rest of the migration to Saturn.
But something doesn’t sit well in Jack’s subconscious and the memories of a life not lived haunt him in his dreams. As events trigger, synapse connections become clues and we start to see the world that was hidden from Jack’s gaze. What seemed like a semi-idyllic task maintaining defence drones against the last of the alien invaders becomes a search for answers. And when you think you know your enemy the shock comes when its discovered your enemy knows you better.
The concept of man’s survival has often been played out against the backdrop of saving millions or protecting the Utopian planet we love. In this story, we seem to have lost all the things worth fighting for which makes it a personal discovery about what’s important. Oblivion is primarily about a well-crafted story and surrounding this is the artistry of a well-sculpted set, painted with faultless passion and design. Kosinski beautifully handles the camera to take you from the vista of a fallen planet to the man-on-tech confrontations that bring you up close to the eyes and sweating pores of a man desperate to survive.
I’m giving Oblivion 4.5 out of 5 popcorn. Loved it!
Rating: M: Contains Violence & Nudity