Oblivion [2013]

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As with any genre, science fiction movies tend to paint themselves in a corner with predictable plotlines. If the trailer (see above) is any indication, "Oblivion" pigeonholes itself into the "saviour of mankind" throughline. That's a somewhat accurate assumption but it can also be argued, "Aren't all storylines about the protagonist battling an evil force and coming out triumphant?". If you can look beyond this story trope you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

In an era of fast forward entertainment it's refreshing to find a film willing to take its time to build a fully realised world. Credit must go to director and co-writer Joseph Konsinski. Though I've yet to watch his (largely) critically panned commercially disappointing feature film debut "Tron: Legacy", he steers what could've have been a routine sci-fi actioneer with great elan and confidence. He takes his time to unfold the storyline while building a fully realised world and characters we're interested to spend time with. I'm very interested to see what he does next. 

For what is a big budget studio production most of the movie is staged very much like a small theatre play. One ponders had they scaled back would an already interesting story be improved or would it have limited its performance at the box-office? The marketing department at Universal must have felt the latter as suggested by the trailers which paint this as an action filled blockbuster. Unfortunately, or fortunately in my case, it isn't.

There's action no doubt but the set pieces occur sporadically and never overwhelm the story. It might even be argued that the big spectacle moments seem tacked on but having a big name star as your lead often results in storylines needing to be reworked to meet audience expectations. 

Which brings us to Tom Cruise

Hate him or love him he is a bonafide star and a damn good actor to boot. The latter comes in handy when your protagonist spends most scenes alone interacting with others off camera. Couch hopping antics aside Cruise's likeable screen presence is used to its full potential here.

The rest of the actors do well but what must get a special mention here are the amazing sets and tech. As mentioned earlier they've built a believable world with what's on-screen looking both perceivably real and gorgeous. French band M83's fantastic score, one of the best I've heard in a long time, only compliments the amazing visuals.

Nothing is perfect and so come out the brickbats. I'll be honest I wish they'd envisioned an alternate ending for this. Sure it's mass pleasing but it's also expected and all-too-convenient unlike everything preceeding it. Every story, at least as far as commercial movies go, require a resolution. Just wish this wasn't it. I'd love to go into detail but that would mean threading into spoiler territory.

Overall "Oblivion" is worth the price of admission if you're seeking something more intellectual than the usual ADHD CGI fests.

Singapore Movie Review for Oblivion 2013 Poster Trailer

Oblivion opens in Singapore cinemas on the 11th of April 2013.

About The Author: Sarhan Rashid
Sarhan Rashid's picture

I'm always greatful for being an 80's baby. We experienced a simpler time while being on the forefront of technological achievements. The internet is one such achievement which has impacted my life. Having worked in the information technology (IT) sector for close to a decade it has truly shaped my world. Besides working as a Project Manager on Singapore CMS (Content Management System) Web Design and online advertising campaigns I enjoy movies, music, travelling and tech gadgets.

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