Oblivion: Some Thoughts

Oblivion

 

I quit being a fan of Mr. Cruise a long time ago, though a decent actor, he was never someone I thought of as a “must see”, certainly not in the same league as Mr. Freeman, Mr. Nicholson, or even one Mr. Carrie, (despite Dumb and Dumber). I did watch the first ‘Mission Impossible’ but none of the sequels and though I make a point of knowing what movies are out, I have somehow managed to completely lose track of the mans career over the years.

Which brings me to this post…

I remember seeing at least one trailer for this movie and thinking it would interesting. As it turned out, I recently had the chance to see it, and by and large, I was correct. It was interesting and I don’t consider the time watching it wasted, unlike “John Carter” which I think I watched more because it was in the same class as a train wreak and I just couldn’t look away…

Funny enough, I had actually forgotten about this 2013 movie until I saw it at the video store, (which I was actually in because they were have a sale on previously viewed movies, but all the good ones were gone), and already being there, decided to see what they had. Browsing the shelves and finding several movies I wanted to see but they were all checked out, I happened across ‘Oblivion’ which the IMBD describes this way:

“A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.” and stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, and Andrea Riseborough.

Taken at face value as an Action/Si-Fi movie and overlooking some serious plot issues, it really isn’t a bad movie and it is possible to enjoy it strictly for the entertainment value.

If you are like me, however, and you find yourself going over the movie at a later time, you will have some issues but I suppose such is true of most of what you will find in this Genre.

So, if you want a simple recommendation, then sure, I would say watching this is a decent way to spend a few hours, just don’t forget the popcorn and JuJubes…

 

If you really want to hear some of my other thoughts about this movie, keep reading. Warning, I’m sure there are spoilers in this next part.

 

Okay, first off, I have issues with the majority of ‘clone’ story lines where the copy manages to have some or all of the memories of the original person. I know this is a useful plot tactic, but is completely unrealistic and has no basis in fact. A clone may look the same, sound the same, and have the same DNA, but these are just superficial aspects of a person. What truly makes each of us unique, even identical twins, is the culmination of our moment to moment experience. No two individuals will ever be one hundred percent identical, it simply isn’t possible and I feel insulted every time a writer tries to convince me differently. I would love to see someone explore this aspect of cloning for a change instead of being lazy and hanging everything on the theory of ‘cell memory’.

Another problem I have is with the use of advance weaponry, which just given the basic physics of things could never work the way they do in movies. Sure it looks cool and the special effects guys get to spend hours and hours adding in glowing beams and explosions, but come on, a light based weapon isn’t going to fire the equivalent of tracer rounds and after being brow beat with such things as a child watching the original Star Wars Trilogy, I would have hoped someone could have come up with something better.

And now another issue with the Earth of ‘Oblivion”. I’m still trying to understand just how everything, the entire city of New York came to be buried. What’s more, there is so much plant growth you would think more than fifty years had passed since the war. The story goes, with the moon shattered, Earth suffered earthquakes and tidal waves and other natural disasters which lead to the way things look in the movie, but it simply isn’t believable. Seeing miles and miles of destruction, that would be believable. Seeing deep canyons made of the buried, almost intact remains of entire city blocks? Not so much. Though it did make for some nice visuals which I suppose was the whole point… but still.

Then there is the little cabin in the woods…

First off, this place is built nestled in a deep mountain valley complete with  pristine lake. The surrounding woodland is obviously mush older than the stated timeline, and while I understand the whole world upheaval part of the back story, it doesn’t quite explain the Rocky Mountains feel to the scene with the soaring, snow covered peaks rising in the background. 

And then there is one little issue which is never explained, the alien spaceship in orbit is somehow unable to keep tack of where one of the clones goes, and has no way to locate a piece of its own tech? This was something I could over look from the point of the ground station… fly low enough, find natural cover to follow and I could see being able to ‘lose’ them, but not when your talking about a space craft capable of transversing interstellar space and observing from miles above the surface. Again, it may help with the plot, but it’s still annoying.

Despite everything I just complained about, it was a decent enough movie and I didn’t feel cheated for having watched it, I’m just glad I didn’t spend the money to see in the theater.

6 thoughts on “Oblivion: Some Thoughts

  1. Oblivion seemed like a heavily advertised movie and i wasn’t really sure what to expect going in. For the most part the movie was just alright for me. It wasn’t the best movie in the world but I also didn’t analyze it or read into the movie too much. If you just take the movie at surface level it’s not bad.

    1. I agree, as I said, if you just take it at face value as an action flick it’s worth the two plus hours you’ll spend watching it.

      Most movies I give a pass to as long as they are enjoyable, but for some reason the ‘clone is an exact copy’ plot line tends to take me out of the story… but that’s just me.

    1. No. I thought the original trilogy was amazing at the time, remember, nothing like them had been done before. Now though, every Si-Fi movie still uses the same techniques developed for those films over 30 years ago. I had hoped they were just the beginning of an amazing era of special effects in movie and television, not the be all and end all of what would be possible.
      With CGI we might finally see something new and wondrous beyond what we saw with the Matrix trilogy, but not as long as people keep looking backward instead of forward. We need a new vision, a daring to do what is thought impossible, and an unwillingness to accept anything less.

    1. I would love to see something blow me away, something fresh, new and unexpected, but those things are risky and the studios don’t want to take the risk, which is a real shame.

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