‘Oblivion’ Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 15th, 2014 at 12:46 am,

Oblivion Reviews Starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman 2013 Oblivion Review

Melodrama and predictable reveals keep the film from being the mind-bending creation that Kosinski may have envisioned, but the director still presents a captivating future with rich visuals.

In Oblivion, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is part of a two-person crew tasked with protecting Earth’s remaining resources following a cataclysmic alien invasion that left the planet uninhabitable. Along with his partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), Jack oversees and maintains a deadly armada of defense drones – charged with shielding massive resource harvesters from the hostile “Skav” attacks.

The pair are supported in their efforts by mission commander Sally (Melisso Leo) who lives aboard the Tet – an orbital space station and the base of harvest operations. In two weeks time, the harvesters will have collected enough raw materials from Earth to ensure humanity’s long-term survival – at which point Jack and Victoria are scheduled to join the other survivors on Titan (Saturn’s largest moon). However, when a routine Drone repair raises new information about the Skavs, Jack begins to ask dangerous questions about his mission.

Andrea Riseborough Victoria Oblivion Oblivion Review

Andrea Riseborough as Victoria in ‘Oblivion’

Oblivion was directed by sophomore feature-filmmaker Joseph Kosinski - based on a graphic novel treatment that he co-penned with comic book writer Arvid Nelson (Dark Horse Comics’ Rex Mundi). Given his experience with Tron: Legacy (along with memorable commercials for Halo 3 and Gears of War), Kosinski is no stranger to sprawling CGI worlds and slick futuristic tech – but from the opening scene, Oblivion sets out to tell a more contemplative story – one that can’t simply be glossed over with memorable action beats. It’s an intimidating and tricky balance to find – especially in a project that is so personal. By the time the credits roll, Kosinski was responsible for Oblivion‘s creation, initial story, first screenplay adaptation, and directing.

Fortunately, with the help of screenwriters William Monahan (The Departed), Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me), and Michael Arndt (Star Wars Episode 7), Oblivion also tells a captivating story – with interesting twists and entertaining (albeit brief) moments of humor and levity. Science fiction fans will be able to anticipate some of the plot beats ahead of schedule, but even in the cases where savvy moviegoers guess correctly, it rarely detracts from the intended emotional payoff.

Oblivion Tom Cruise Drone 166 Oblivion Review

Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Drone 166 in ‘Oblivion’

In fact, Oblivion prioritizes its central character story over nearly every other element of the production – meaning that some moviegoers who were expecting a high-octane post-apocalyptic war story may be underwhelmed by the limited action set-pieces. The film includes a handful of exciting combat scenes – each with slick visual effects and enjoyable excitement – but relative to the character story and overall world-building, large scale action moments are in short supply. Instead, Oblivion unravels a multifaceted sci-fi mystery story – relying on tense character encounters and reveals to keep audiences engaged (even if plot holes and heavy-handed melodrama sometimes weigh it down).

Considering the relatively small cast, Cruise is responsible for a number of Oblivion‘s best moments – gripping anxiety when fiddling with the finicky but lethal aerial drones, or a charming obsession when he encounters long-abandoned relics of humanity. Jack is a likable and contemplative lead character that fits within the usual Cruise wheelhouse, but even though he shares characteristics with Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible) and John Anderton (Minority Report), the actor focuses on the right idiosyncrasies to serve Oblivion. Instead of adding another over-the-top action hero to his resume, Cruise is a bit more delicate with Jack – resulting in a more inviting and, at times, stirring performance.

Oblivion Movie Morgan Freeman Oblivion Review

Morgan Freeman and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in ‘Oblivion’

The supporting cast is equally competent with a complicated and rich turn from Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go) as Victoria, Jack’s communications officer and sole-confidant. Whereas Jack is hesitant to leave humanity’s “home” (Earth), Victoria is eager to reunite with the rest of the survivors on Titan – and watching her attempt to placate and manage her increasingly erratic partner provides Riseborough with plenty of material. Similarly, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, and Olga Kurylenko all offer meaningful additions to the onscreen Oblivion drama – each with their own moments in the spotlight.

Kosinski also owes much of Oblivion‘s success to the effects department – since they brought two of the more interesting “characters” to life: the previously mentioned aerial drones, and the drowned and frozen landscape of post-war New York City. The drones (number 166 in particular) walk a fascinating line between comedy relief and thoughtless killing machines – making them one of the most riveting and nerve-wracking aspects of the plot. Similarly, while New York City is effectively “dead,” destroyed in the war, remnants of its former glory make for some of the more absorbing scenes in the film – and a constant reminder of the destruction wrought by the alien attack.

Tech 49 Oblivion Movie Oblivion Review

The post-apocalyptic skies of ‘Oblivion’

Surprisingly, Oblivion was not post-converted into 3D but is getting a limited run in IMAX. In this case, the added IMAX cost is hard to justify – especially for moviegoers who expect significant return on a premium ticket experience. That said, for those who don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, the IMAX experience could still be worthwhile. The bigger screen size enhances the scale in Oblivion‘s post-apocalyptic settings and, more importantly, cranks up the sound. Honking and clunking mechanisms in the the drones and other high-tech vehicles help sell the authenticity of Kosinski’s near-future world and a superior sound system is preferable (though, as stated, not essential).

Oblivion is not the most exciting or the smartest science fiction experience to ever hit theaters; action fans may be underwhelmed by a limited amount of gunplay, and viewers looking for an especially deep sci-fi world might find too many familiar tropes. Melodrama and predictable reveals keep the film from being the mind-bending creation that Kosinski may have envisioned, but the director still presents a captivating future with rich visuals and an intriguing protagonist. Oblivion could have easily been a convoluted and indulgent moviegoing experience; instead, the film keeps a restrained focus on Jack’s character journey – which, thankfully, is an “effective team” of drama and post-apocalyptic adventure.

If you’re still on the fence about Oblivion, check out the trailer below:

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Oblivion runs 126 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity. Now playing in regular and IMAX theaters.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. If you’ve seen the movie and want to discuss details about the film without worrying about spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it, please head over to our Oblivion Spoilers Discussion.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Oblivion episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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TAGS: oblivion

173 Comments

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  1. I offer Tom Cruise $5,000 if he can watch the movie Oblivion in one sitting and without falling sleep.

    • Dude, totally. Movie was nappy time. Combine Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama, Star Trek the next generation’s Borg, Moon with Sam Rockwell (a stunner Indy) and Return of the Jedi, shake once so as not to stir up anything emotional, pig out on popcorn and sleep in stadium-seating big chairs.

      I can do all this at home and save the $8.50 a ticket, $6.50 a beer and $7.50 a box…

      zzzZZZZZzzzz

      • Not sure how someone could think Oblivion was boring but not think the same of Moon.

        • What tronia said. I enjoyed both movies but Moon was such a slower movie.

    • It’s cute that Tom Cruise would see $5,000 as a significant amount of money XD

  2. I loved the movie, the CGI was fantastic, the tech and mech well designed and thought out, the visuals and landscapes breathtaking where needed and the acting was great. I thought most things were explained, and anymore would have made a long movie even longer. One this still gripes me though, they tied up all of the loose end characters except one. What happenned to the second Victoria ?? Was she just left there on top of the mountain ? And how many more sets were there working simultaniously, unaware of each others existance ?

  3. I like Tom Cruise. I enjoyed the movie but it’s how you feel about a move after that makes it great.

    Unfortunately there was nothing in the film that made me want to think about what I had seen or relive the experience later.

    I saw Warm Bodies which I did not expect to like or hate and I’m replaying scenes in my head and relaying the film to friends and family days after. That is what I am talking about.

  4. Oblivion definitely had many tropes typical of the sic-fi genre, but it used them quite moderately. The focus on Tom’s character clearly outlines the importance of one man’s struggle in the post-apocalyptic world, but more specifically, how this one man has affected it and can change it. The CGI was intricate and only complements the acting of the major characters. Tom’s performance is exceptionally captivating as he takes control of the screen. I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling it for others…Overall, I give it 4/5 stars! A must see in theatres and if you can, AVX or IMAX is highly recommended

  5. I just saw it and I liked it a lot. I think it had action, suspense, and emotion in almost equal amounts.
    Great story and well worth seeing in the theater. I give it a solid 4 stars.
    Good trailers too! Star Trek, Superman, Now You See Me…

  6. Its a good movie, go watch it and you wont be disappointed. Ignore the negative rants…I give 4 stars for this movie…

    • Agree. Good one with a good story. Good twists too. IMAX sound system made M83′s music even better.
      A lot of things to consider long after watching it. Good 2nd time out for the director as well.
      (Ignore the cry-babies and see it. Nothing satisfies those guys anyway.)

  7. I hate this film! Argh! I just don’t get it. So lame

    • How do u not get it I’m 12 and I get it u obliviously are a dud

      • Learn to spell. I get the movies plot. I don’t get how anybody can enjoy this cold and actionless derivative bore-fest.

        • It wasn’t cold; it DEFINITELY was not actionless; it was not derivative (at least, not especially so…and MUCH more effective with what it did use).

          That’s how.

          • Really! Oh. Thanks for correcting me. I completely see it your way now, Oblivion isn’t a charmless and dull waste of money. How could I have been so blind!

            • It was my pleasure to point out your flawed supposition that, somehow, your opinion matters the slightest bit more, or is ANY more correct in understanding or attitude about the film, than those of us who enjoyed the film.

              You’re welcome.

              Any other smart-assery you’d like to try to throw my way?

              • Nah, I’m good. I’m all sarcasmed out. Movie sucks, and I didn’t for one second claim my opinion was more important than anybody else’s. That doesn’t stop me being right though! G’night!

                • Good. We’ll simply keep it at a disagreement. Works for me.

  8. Hated this movie. I have listed the numerous plot holes below:

    1) Why do machines need so much water?
    2) Why would machines continue to use humans which have shown to be unreliable. You can’t create a repair drone?
    3) Why wouldn’t the machines shut down Jack’s plane as he is fleeing?
    4) The flight recorder is stored in the sleep chamber of the Odyssey, but still records a few seconds even after it has been jettisoned.
    5) How was the sleep pod able to escape the Tet’s “tractor beam”?
    6) The Tet is not able to scan for nuclear devices?
    7) Jack spends an entire day and night at the lake house when he is the only one capable of repairing the drone and saving the world. If I was the only one capable of saving the world I would not be spending an entire day with my girlfriend, I would be saving the world as fast as possible.

    I could go on, but I will stop.

    • Sadly I’ll take a bite for you…

      1) Hydrogen power
      2) Kozinski really like Moon with Sam Rockwell
      3) No doubt
      4) Wireless comms
      5) Idiocy your right makes no sense
      6) Ditto
      7) “lake house with girlfriend” or “work” or “save the planet” you are obviously not American but we love your country anyway.

      • I wanna party with you, Dave. You’re obviously awesome.

    • I will try to argue the movies points haha
      1.cooling and hydrogen as in H2O
      2.humans still have better intuitive intelligence although they are slow in analytical thinking and maybe the machine aliens like cheap labor hehe
      3.easy one here like on modern navy ships they have anti-radar and antijamming devices.
      4.residual recording or new technology
      5.see number 3 or possible movie blunder
      6.The tet may have been hoodwinked by TOM or cloaking device or the they probably underestimated those pesky humans.7.he needs sex

    • Other points were mostly addressed, but as for point 4:
      The sleeping pod was designed as an emergency escape vehicle while the control unit had no living facilities, judging by the size etc.
      It would make sense to put the recorder in the sleeper pod (or even have 2 units for reliability): in this case it would be completely reasonable to have unit in the sleeper pod record data from the cockpit for as long as possible using wireless technology.

    • 1) They turn the water into energy.
      2) They have a low number of drones, it seems. Vika keep asking for parts and Tet can’t supply them or new drones, what makes you believe the materials are either scarce or too costly.
      3) Range? The plane is shut inside Tet.
      4) IMO that whole “scene review” was ocurring inside Jack’s head. Wireless comm are an alternative.
      5) Tought the same. Maybe the ejection uses an emergency power output (given a sleep chamber ejection would most likely be a last case scenario)
      6) The energy cell is not a nucler device.
      7) Oh well.

  9. The Movie is The dream of all women “have millions of Tom Cruise as husbands” lololol…
    I Like the Movie is amazing The scenarios are amazing and the architectural of the stations, the design of the ship the pools is amazing and the idea of the stations are awesome.
    Please don’t forgot Mr. Morgan Freeman, that actor is amazing too.
    The next time Tom, Please ask a girl a little bit better… I know you have weird tastes, but those two were a little skinny…
    I give 5 to this Movie.

  10. This movie was horrible in my opinion.
    It left a tremendous amount of questions unanswered. So many that I do not even know where to begin.
    I honestly am upset i paid to go see it.
    Nothing made sense.
    I am still sitting here trying to understand what went on.
    Ussually even if it doesn’t make sense, the movie leaves you with something…but i cannot say i took anything away from this. The plot was so twisted and confusing that I would have to watch the movie a few more times to understand why everything happened.
    Do the clones have memories or not?!

    • So you don’t like movies that don’t spell everything out to you and leave you thinking?!

      One of the best parts about the movie is that it didn’t spell everything out, quite frankly.
      It leaves you thinking and this should be a good thing.

      Yes, the clones have some memories.
      If you paid attention you’d notice that Victoria also had memories , we just don’t see her flashbacks.

      • Seth. Whether the movie made sense or not it was still unbelievably boring garbage.

        • It really was not. It was actually quite enjoyable and thoughtfully made.

  11. This wa Top Gun CGI. I started laughing when the drones were chasing Tom and wife through the canyons and I thought, hit the brakes and fly right by, and then he did it on screen. LOL. Take Independence Day and Top Gun amd flying r2d2 with guns and you have this toitally useless movie. Tom’s “wife” looked like Katir, his kid looked liked Suri and that was creepy. Waste of time and dough. I gave one star as that was the lowest rating.

    • So I was not the only one thinking the same thing. When the camera did a close up on her that was the first thing I told my wife.

  12. Oblivion was surprisingly good-I was expecting some 12 year old boy transformers movie with all the cgi but it had a pretty good story line with twists.I saw 42 and although I like JR,I’m getting tired of all the Black sufferage type movies.

  13. I loved it. Favorite movie of the year so far :)

  14. I am just too scared to watch any more trailers from now on. I watched trailer 2 and 3 of ‘Oblivion’ and it pretty much gave away the whole movie. If you wanna watch Oblivion but won’t, just watch those 2 trailers and you’re done.

    So disappointing. Wow, I have such an appreciation for the way they went about ‘Man of Steel’s’ promotion. Thankfully there was no “Marketing Blitz”. I haven’t watched a single ‘Iron Man 3′ trailer because of Marvel’s sh*tty Marketing policy — ‘Iron Man’ was ruined for me also. Thankfully it was actually a really good movie. Oblivion on the other hand, not so much.

    I think 3 and a half stars is being generous. I would’ve given it a 2 and a half stars.

  15. I didn’t understans the ending. Was the jack Harper that showed up at the lake house the original 49? if he was, why did it take him 3 days to find it?

    • “Original 49″ is a bit of a misnomer…

      The Jack that showed up at the lake house was Tech 52 – the one Jack 49 encountered in “Radiation Zone” (you could see his number on his outfit).
      It apparently took him 3 years to find the house, not 3 days.

      • Why was he looking for it? i thought 49 was the orighinal jack or were they all clones, including 49?

        • They were all clones. At the end of the five year “mission” they would kill both Jack and Victoria and replace them with a fresh set of clones. This plot point is obviously stolen from Moon, which I recommend seeing, but that didn’t really bother me. Also, if you think about it, the original Jack would have to be older than Morgan Freeman’s character. My best interpretation is that all of the clones are imperfect, and struggle with the same repressed memories, so after 52 meets 49, he becomes obsessed with finding the place that he knows 49 would have built. Or something like that.

          Also, I really liked the touch that they used with the Victoria character, where she takes the photo of the two of them in the Odyssey, and it is obvious that she is in love with Jack but he doesn’t feel the same way. It explains why, even though we never see her flashbacks, she is so distraught after Jack finds Julia and chooses her over Victoria.

          • @Deerektorr

            Also, you forget that 52 sees Julia as well. So not only did he see himself as 49 but he sees the girl in his dreams. I’m sure he is smart enough to figure out something is not right about all of that. Also, the human resistance group knew about the “other” Jack, so most likely after Morgan Freeman and 49 kills themselves, they went out to seek out 52 and tell him of the truth, which isn’t too hard considering he saw the other him already…

            I really hope the resistance group rescues Victoria from 52 after that as well. I really hope she makes out alright… I really felt for her character while watching the movie.

  16. I saw this movie on Friday in IMAX. I liked it. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was definitely worth watching. I agree that some of the twists, especially one of them, I was like “really? They decided to go that route?” But honestly, they are not technically “bad” twists, just that so many other movies used them… I try not to judge movies based on other movies, so on its own, I didn’t really mind it too much. Also, I actually liked the nods to older sci-fi movies, especially the big 2001 nod, lol.

    Anyway, I really thought the actress who played Victoria was spectacular. Her moments really moved me several times in the movie. Tom Cruise was also excellent in this movie, but honestly, despite all of the Tom Cruise hate going around, I’ve gotten a bit accustomed with him giving a good performance. I do think he’s a good actor despite his off-camera craziness, lol. One thing though, I think Melissa Leo was completely wasted. She’s such a spectacular actress, but she was just a face on a screen in this movie. Oh well… I understand there wasn’t much room for another character.

    I think 3.5 stars is a very fair rating for this movie. I might watch it again because the visuals and sound were awesome.

    ***SPOILER ALERT***
    I do wish they didn’t include that one part where Morgan Freeman talks about thousands of “him” invading the earth because honestly that didn’t really make any sense given that they never find any remains of them unless they systematically vaporized all of them after the invasion was done…

  17. I just saw it in IMAX last night and by golly i loved the movie. If youre into sci-fi high tech future CGI kinds of movies then go see this.
    I love all types of movies and can appreciate even the crap ones.
    this one gave a new visual on the future. it was awesome in my opinion.
    the very end was a little confusing to me but it didnt make the movie any worse. go see it!

  18. Did anyone watch in real IMAX? Does it fill the entire screen?

  19. Saw it last night on IMAX also. This is one GREAT sci-fi flick! T.C. is again at the top of his game. Freeman and both women, Riseborough and Kurylenko, are EXCELLENT as well. Time well spent!

  20. I had trepidations about going to see this as most Science fiction nowadays have been reduced to Cowboys & Indians, Cops & Robbers and GI Joe “Brains-left-in-a-mason-jar” action militarisitc junk ala Star Wars as opposed to a thinking man’s Star Trek…was pleasantly surprised! Cruise and supporting cast does a wonderful job in setting this desolate world believably and gives some shudders as showing how close we are responsible today wth our own drones lurking about. Some great images and grown-up thot provoking matter.

    • Pheel, I almost agreed with you until you took a shot at Star Wars (not necessary friend). My issue is not with the cast or the setting. If this movie is supposed to be for “grown-ups” and “thought provoking” then why leave so many holes in the story? I can forgive plot holes in a simple action movie but not one that intends to be more mature. It’s an insult to the “grown-up” watching it.

      • Give me your plot holes and i will fill them for you, only real plot hole i can see is: what happen to Victoria 52?..

  21. THE EVIL ALIEN BAD GUY WAS A GIANT ROBOT TRIANGLE??? CMON!!! WTF!!!!

  22. Just saw Oblivion. Fell asleep three times. Went back out to buy nachos & the cup of mini cookies to help me stay awake. The movie was terribly slow & lacking a riveting plot. Worse than seeing John Carter’s.

    • What are you, 15? Narcoleptic? Nachos and cookies won’t help you stay awake, they’ll help you put on weight. Take a nap beforehand next time, little guy.

      Bane

  23. I liked that the most obvious clue to a mechanized alien intelligence being responsible for the catastrophe that happened to Earth was all the tech they were using. the ‘Bubble-Ship’ the weapons, the bike, the swimming pool, etc.
    Seeing as the event only happened 4 years from now, we don’t have ANYTHING close to what they were equipped with let alone after a world changing event where most starved and any technological progress came to a screeching halt.

    The first thing I was asking myself was, “Where the heck did they get all this cool stuff?”

  24. Whoever doesn’t get this isn’t very smart Jess sayin and remember guys it’s just a movie

  25. For me, this movie — OBLIVION — was a combination of occasionally exhilarating, mildly and unevenly but gradually increasingly intriguing, visually often provocatively absorbing, occasionally fascinating and riveting, and at times emotionally gripping and thought-provoking — but, also, generally weak and limited to (a) story-line cliches and (b) overall lack of even a thought of exploring any questions in depth or in exploring concepts beyond puerile pre-pablumized “safe” ideas so that the audience wouldn’t have to really “think”.

    I.e., for me, this was a fairly decent, often visually captivating, at times high-action-filled, and unevenly enjoyable — though boring at times and exciting at others — “safe, no-need-to-think-too-much”, movie.

    Plus, sad to say, it was loaded with plot-holes and “loose-ends”. Some viewers have said that these “loose-ends” are good because “they make you think”; my view is that these “loose-ends” are SO loose that they make ME think that the film’s writer/director got so lost in creating this story that he fell down on the job of writing a coherent, internally justifiable script.

    For example:

    1. How ridiculous that I, as a viewer, should have to wonder — with no clear clues or “raison d’etre” having been cogently laid out as a clear AND REASONABLE part of the story — who IS Jack and how MANY Jacks (& Victorias — etcetera?) are there, and how is it that SOME of them seem to share each other’s (pre-programmed?) hints of memories while OTHER of them do NOT share THEIR hints of memories? Why indeed with ANY of them share ANY of their hints of memories, for that matter? And WHY are these “Jacks” and “Victorias” there — in multiples “ad infinitum” — in the first place? And if they (such as these Jacks) share their hints of memories — possibly even their emotional & psychological characteristics, including their sense of compassion and their drive to protect their loved ones (?) etcetera — then WHY would one Jack beat up, and tie up, and leave him for dead in the desert — ANOTHER Jack who, perhaps, already innately shared the same positive compassionate makeup as the FIRST Jack?

    Plus, regarding that Jack-vs-Jack fight-scene, at first glance it seemed that each Jack was surprised — even perhaps shocked — to see “himself” approaching. Or WERE they suprised and shocked? Neither one exclaimed — as I might have expected one or both to do — soemthing like “What the…? Who the xxx are YOU?”. Instead they get into a fight with each other. Does this mean that they ALREADY KNEW that the other — and possibly countless other versions of themselves — were their own CLONES?

    Yet, if they knew that — or even suspected it — where in the movie do ANY of these characters even give us a HINT that (a) they know this, and (b) they are, or aren’t, concerned about it, and (c) they are, or aren’t, in the least bit curious as to what this whole clone-issue means in the context of the ALIEN ATTACK or EARTH’S & HUMANITY’S FATE or TO THE GREAT TRIANGLE-ALIEN IN THE SKY?

    I.e., NONE OF THESE ISSUES IS ADDRESSED in the film.

    So, as some viewers have said, this film’s “unanswered questions” are to “make us think”. I THINK that I (as above), and various other critical viewers, not the FILM, am the one (or are the ones) asking these questions; the film simply hurled inconguent factoids against the wall and — at least in regard to the above-mentioned points — seems to have made no effort at all to even offer hints at WHY these factoids are there or WHAT revelations their existence might be pointing us toward considering.

    So the film has its excitements, sensitive acting, a usually pleasing pace and introspective sensibility — plus some great and gripping action sequences and lush visuals and super sci-fi chases & gear & sequences — but oh, those script-failings!

    2. And oh, those plot-holes!

    So, an incredibly high-tech alien entity takes over Earth, clones and controls the “repair” humans on the planet from a monstrous pyramidal “thing” in Earth-orbit, constructed and directs some of the scariest death-dealing “drones” this side of Betelgeuse (?) — and yet they need some human guy (“Jack”, or any of the “Jacks”) to go around fixng these drones, like the drones somehow can’t repair themselves or even zoom up to some automated “drone repair-station” somewhere? And, almost like a puppy recognizing its master, all these drones have to do is either look into Jack’s eyes, or listen to him shout at them to behave, and suddenly they stop being ready to kill and just simper away into the sky? HUH? (Shades of the friendly flying robotoids in the Disney sci-fi picture “The Black Hole”!).

    There are other plot-holes all over the place, too. But if I write about them all here, we’ll soon have an entire script for a whole other (but better?) movie!

    3. Though, as I said, in various ways the film works — and is above average as compared to much that is on the big screen these days — it is such a shame that its creators limited it to plodding only along the same old pathways that far more illuminating films had already traveled and established as “their own”. I.e., in many ways — TOO many ways — this was a modular, “parts from off-the-shelf”, film; it was like watching a pastiche — albeit in slightly new clothing — of films that I’d already seen before.

    Example: The sky-chase scene in which drones are chasing Jack’s plane through the wing-narrow canyons of cliffs and destroyed skyscrapers. I kept wondering when Luke Skywalker would zoom past them to lob the nuke into the Death-Star’s exhuast-port!

    And Morgan Freeman wearing those sun-goggles: Shades of Vin Diesel as Riddick! (And why was Freeman wearing the goggles in the first place? And why NO goggles when confronting the alien in the pyramid? WHO KNOWS?)

    There’s more, but this is enough for now.

    4. Yet, would I see this film again? Probably. Why? I enjoy decent sci-fi, the film — while slow by American standards — does have its moments; and — and maybe this is actually a rather clever trick of the film’s creators — it left me with the feeling that “if I JUST would pay CLOSER ATTENTION” to the story’s details, maybe it would give me “more answers”, even “more QUESTIONS”, worth ruminating more deeply over. But am I eagerly running out to see it again? Would you?

    • Great overview and considering the meager quality of Film/stories available it was still a good visit to the the theatre.

  26. OMG! This movie sucked for me BIG TIME!!! I really enjoy Tom Cruise movies and was shocked at how boring and dumb the movie was. I spent $62 (for 2 kids, 2 adults)and I really regret it. The IMAX experiece was a ripoff, because there are only two or three scenes where you feel you are flying with Tom, but other then that- nothing! Also, I could not understand some of what was going on, espicially the end, which I will not describe, but it really made no sense. Overall, the movie as too long, too boring, minimal action, and I felt nothing. I just walked out with the rest of the audience thinking “what the hell was that”.

    • AKM, if I spent $62 at ANY movie I would be pissed. Regardless if it was one of the best films I ever watched. $62 is a lot of money for a movie. I could drop that kind of money for a live event, but not for something that will be on DVD in less than 6 months.

  27. Far too many plot holes to walk away satisfied.

  28. I’ve been reading and watching scifi for over 40 years, and in order to enjoy a book or movie you have to suspend a little disbelief and try to buy into the premise of the story. If you don’t, you won’t enjoy most of the books you read or movies you see. If you’re determined that you can’t enjoy a movie without it being guaranteed to meet all kinds of subjective criteria, then why even go to see one and waste your money? I had already either figured out or rationalized most folks objections, but the only technical one that really stood out for me (and not a “showstopper” regardless) was the apparent decreased communications capability of the Tet with the outposts and drones once it was behind the horizon. I would’ve thought it would have deployed a communications net that covered everything 24×7. We have that now. Of course if it had, all of the humans would have been dead and there wouldn’t have been a movie to watch. Still, as far as comparing it to other scifi books and movies, I thought it was well done and was able to escape for awhile. And yes, I’m still thinking about it.

  29. Wait, what movie was this I saw again? Vanilla Sky? Minority Report? War of the Worlds? No wait, “Oblivion”. Got it.