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24 Frames Reviews: Oblivion

“Oblivion,” the summer blockbuster vehicle for Tom Cruise wants to be so much more than it actually is. Do you remember in Jr. High that kid who wanted so badly to hang with the cool kids, though he just wasn’t quite cool enough? He wasn’t that great at sports, conversation, or girl chasing but he still longed for the letter jacket of popularity? Craig was his name at my Jr. High and he could have gotten by on his laurels but lucky enough for him his parents were loaded and so he bought his friends.

“You guys want to go to McDonalds?”

“No, not really feeling like it right now.”

“I’ll buy!”

“Alright let’s go.”

If Craig were a movie, Craig would be “Oblivion”. Throw a ton of money at an idea and surely it can get you by, unless you’re “Gates of Heaven,” but that’s another story entirely. The point is there are great elements to “Oblivion,” the art direction and special effects; the magnificent sound design and photography are all beautiful and wonderfully done. Directed competently by Joseph Kosinski who also brought you “Tron Legacy” and a lot of the great things about “Legacy” are also the great things about “Oblivion” including the electronic synthetic score.

The story is about a not too distant future in which war has destroyed the earth as we know it, and the 

Credit Universal Studios
Universal Studios

  moon, which is streaked across the sky like a watermelon at a Gallagher concert was destroyed by unknown alien beings known as Scavs. The radiation from the nuclear fallout prevents humanity from inhabiting the earth but teams of two are sent down to help guard giant water sucking machines who are taking the earth’s resources to the new human settlement on Titan which is a few clicks north of Saturn, apparently. That’s as detailed as I’ll get in the plot which is even more convoluted than I’ve described here.  The two main female lead actors are incredible Vicka played by Andrea Riseborough and Julia played by Olga Kurylenko turn in great performances worthy of a different film. Tom Cruise has been playing himself for almost 15 years now and they might as well just start calling him Tom in all his movies, he’s decent enough, but I can’t help but feel like I would have liked this movie a lot more had he not been in it.

Overall “Oblivion” is just not the film it wants to be and sometimes hitting a double is better than swinging for the fences and flying out, speaking of baseball; I recommend the film only if you are going to the movies this weekend and have already seen “42”. I give “Oblivion” 3 Tom Cruise “shocked” faces out of 5.