"Oblivion" Review

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They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and it’s true with this film. If you’ve seen “Moon”, “Independence Day”, “The Matrix” or “Wall-E” you’ve seen some theme from this film before. What you haven’t seen is the depth of this post-nuclear Earth and the technology that’s used in the film. 

Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) live and work together as a technician/watcher duo charged with the task of repairing drones on Earth. It’s been decades since aliens destroyed our moon, sending the planet into environmental chaos.  After nuking and killing most of the aliens, all of Earth’s inhabitants now live on one of Saturn’s moons. Earth’s water has to be drained and transported to Saturn in order for our race to continue. The only issue is that Scavengers (the aliens known as Scavs) still inhabit the Earth. So the drones roam the Earth to kill any Scavs that may tamper with the drainage system. 

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If that sounded complex, don’t worry, Jack explains it all with visuals as he gets to work in the beginning. Day in and out they do the same routine, but Jack wants more. Even though his memory has been wiped clean as a security measure against Scavs, he still has these images of a woman and questions he can’t get out of his head. He finally gets what he’s been yearning for in the form of a ship crashing on Earth with a load of humans. 

From there the film is a journey to discover why the woman of Jack’s dreams has landed. As questions are answered the film starts to take a nose dive from its suspenseful beginnings. All the sci-fi films you’ve seen before crash together for an ending that you probably saw coming. 

Cruise is one of those actors that have been doing this for so long, it’s easy. Unfortunately, his character is on cruise control as Jack isn’t developed very well. Morgan Freeman gets an awesome entrance to the film as Beech, but (in Forrest Gump’s voice) “that’s all I have to say about that”. 

There’s no question that director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) had a vision for this Earth, the environment, and it’s one that we’ve never seen before (for the most part). The synthesized score is reminiscent of Vangelis (Blade Runner) but it works for the movie. Overall the visuals and suspense of the beginning of the film make it worth your hard earned cash to see a recycled story that entertains. 

Rating: C

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.