Reviewed by Sam Robinson
Rated M. Starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko. Available now on DVD & Blu-Ray.
Forty minutes before our home viewing of Oblivion ended, my wife Ali turned to me and said ‘Isn’t it ironic that it’s called Oblivion and we’re completely oblivious to what’s going on?’
It might not be the intention behind the film’s title, but the latest Tom Cruise post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure seems to spend more time on surprises than it does on an actual storyline.
Set in the year 2077, the earth has been all but destroyed by a war between humans, and aliens called Scavengers. Humanity won. But unfortunately, the nuclear weapons used against the Scavs rendered earth uninhabitable so the remaining humans nicked off to Saturn.
Tom Cruise plays Jack (have you noticed Jack is the action character name of 2013?) the last drone repairman on earth, who keeps things in order while flying around in what resembles a massive iPod docking system.
Oblivion is an enjoyable adventure but director and writer Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) throws in more twists and turns than a game of snakes and ladders – all at the expense of the plot and character development.
The visuals are exciting though. Everything from the bare decimated landscapes to Jack’s floating home in the sky stamps our passport to this world of the future. And the soundtrack by band M83 is excellent.
There are elements of 2001: A Space Odyssey and even WALL-E here. But the film still manages to find its own identity.
As the film unfolds (to explain in detail would result in spoilers) Jack discovers relics of the world that once was – including the Empire State Building, and a Superbowl stadium. But it’s all left in ruin and almost unrecognisable.
The reign of decay in our world is something the Bible speaks clearly about. Perhaps not in the way of nuclear warfare, but compared to God, this world is fleeting and destined to perish.
…but to the Son:
Your throne, God,
is forever and ever,
and the scepter of Your kingdom
is a scepter of justice.
You have loved righteousness
and hated lawlessness;
this is why God, Your God,
has anointed You
with the oil of joy
rather than Your companions.
He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”
– Hebrews 1:8-12
God is solid and unchanging and his good rule will last forever and never decay. In Oblivion, the earth is perishing, so humanity flees to another planet, but that one is perishing too! We can find joy in the fact that our God is sovereign and unlike the things of this earth, will never change.
Oblivion is an ambitious film that intentionally throws pieces of the puzzle all over the place but doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to piece them together. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 stars.