Thursday, April 25, 2013


Hollywood's love affair with the post-apocalyptic future of Earth continues in Oblivion. Co-written and directed by Joseph Kosinski, adapted from his own graphic novel, the story gives us a devastated landscape that used to be New York City, a human worker bee who survived the holocaust, and has begun to question his mission, and a lot of really cool high-tech CGI machines that pivot around in mid-air and shoot from all directions. (No surprise that Kosinski's last film was the video-centric TRON: Legacy.)

If you know your dystopian sci-fi stories, Oblivion doesn't have a lot of surprises, plot-wise. And while Kosinski's visual canvas is large, and his themes epic, there are more than a few times when the storytelling plods onscreen, where narrative urgency gets lost amid all the gadgetry and prolonged shootouts. Still, the ideas are always interesting, the movie looks great, and Kosinski spins an eerie sense of contemplative yearning that keeps the viewer involved.

It's 2077, fifty years after a nuclear war with alien invaders turned most of the Earth into a desert of windswept rubble. "We won the war but lost the planet," says maintenance technician Jack Harper (a plausible enough Tom Cruise); he lives in a tower high above the surface servicing the drone machines extracting the last of Earth's usable resources for the remaining humans who have relocated to a moon of Jupiter. (Read more)

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