Sunday, April 14, 2013

OBLIVION (2013) movie review

Oblivion (2013) d. Kosinski, Joseph (USA)

In the years following an alien attack that has left Earth a barren wasteland, skeleton crew members Tom Cruise and redhead Andrea Riseborough remain stationed above the surface to maintain the hydro-generators powering newly installed reactors on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, where the rest of the surviving populace has relocated. Their days and nights are kept lively defending the pyramid-shaped structures from residual alien “scavenger” crafts, but complications arise when ancient (i.e. early 21st century) space debris plummets to the planet’s surface bearing strange cargo indeed.

Like his earlier work on Tron: Legacy, Kosinski has a marvelous knack for eye candy visuals; he and his design team conjure some memorably gleaming set pieces that buck the past decade’s space grunge trend. (I especially love Cruise’s gyro-style ship and floating domicile with built-in pool.) But though his cast tenders equitable if autopilot performances (I’m looking at you, Morgan Freeman) and there are some whizbang action sequences, there’s a lack of dramatic urgency to the proceedings, owing largely to a muddled script (based on Kosinski’s comic book co-authored with Arvid Nelson) that often had me wondering if I’d missed something somewhere. More sci-fi product than genuine inspiration, further dumbed down by Cruise's unimaginative and excessive voiceover track.

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