HOLLYWOOD—Tom Cruise has been heralded by many as an action superstar. Cruise’s latest project “Oblivion” is a sci-fi thriller that will keep audiences guessing until the final moments. There is not much divulged in the trailer or TV spots for the flick, which allows the audience to come into the theater with an open mind and not have high expectations.
Cruise portrays Commander Jack Harper, one of the last surviving humans on Earth in the year 2073. The planet has been ravaged by an alien invasion, known as Scavs. Harper is skilled at repairing drones which protect the Earth from aliens, but all is not as it appears. Jack is suffering from recurring dreams fromNew Yorkbefore the apocalyptic invasion. His dreams involve a mysterious woman portrayed by Julia (Olga Kurylenko). Jack’s mission is to seek out remaining resources from the desolate planet while keeping in contact with Sally (Melissa Leo), his commander.
Everything changes for Jack when a spacecraft crashes; inside the ship Jack locates a number of sleeping capsules on board. A drone destroys most of those sleeping capsules, but not before Jack rescues Julia. He later finds himself captured by a groups of Scavs that are not alien’s, but human beings hiding under the surface led by Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman). The rest of the picture involves a tale of two evils: does Jack trust Sally, the only commander that he has known or Malcolm a revolutionist who stresses what Jack has been told this entire time is a complete cover-up.
An important element of “Oblivion” is its ability to present a tantalizing tale of suspense that keeps the audience quite intrigued. The idea of a culture of people not being who we believe them to be is a staple of so many sci-fi stories in cinematic history. The geographic forefront of the picture is quite delightful with visuals to appeal to the human eye in ways that one can only imagine thanks to director Joseph Kosinski who stages the effects with such precision. Cruise is quite convincing portraying a flawed character whose memory lapses propel a majority of the plot to connect the dots. Freeman and Leo also deliver strong supporting roles for the picture.
This is a movie that gives the audience a slice of a post-apocalyptic Earth. One where civilization has ceased to exist, those that are survivors are at a lost for words and a planet where grabbing hold of power is the ultimate prize. “Oblivion” may not be the out of the box tale audiences have been waiting for, but it is indeed a visual spectacle that will wow moviegoers from start to finish.
By LaDale Anderson