As I have said on many occasions, I am a very big fan of Tom Cruise. A bad Tom Cruise film is a very rare thing – and considering how long his career has been, that is remarkable.
When it came out in 2013, Oblivion was seen as a bad and soulless Cruise movie, but having watched it I think that is a very harsh verdict. Oblivion is not a bad film at all – in fact, it is a good film. Not great – not Minority Report – just good.
I have two main problems with Oblivion. Problem one is that it wears its influences on its sleeve but never really forges its own path. All of the elements that make Oblivion a good film are taking from great Sci-Fi movies. Oblivion doesn’t bring anything new or even a new spin on those great ideas.
My second problem with Oblivion spins from the first one. The film is very similar to a little diddy called Moon. The problem for Oblivion is that Duncan Jones’ Moon (2006) is a sensational film which deals with much of the same themes. I couldn’t help but compare the two and Oblivion kept coming a distant second best.
But, as I said, Oblivion is a very good film and, surprise surprise, much of that is to do with Tom Cruise. I am seriously bored of saying this but Tom Cruise really is a wonderful and versatile actor. I buy the world of Oblivion because I buy Tom in the role as Jack Harper – a technician that fixes Drones on a ruined earth that is only good for mining resources for a human population that is now somewhere in space. Or something like that.
And although Battlestar Galactica, Moon and Matrix deal with much of the same subject matter in a far better way, Oblivion’s story is still very interesting. It still asks somewhat profound questions which make you think a little bit – it is not simply content on looking pretty as a film.
So, yeh… Oblivion is good. There are better out there but there is no real reason I can think of not to spend 2 hours with this film.