11/04/2013

Oblivion

After imitating every rock star ever in Rock of Ages and becoming the most unconvincing action hero in history in Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise is back on familiar ground in Oblivion. Former Marine commander Jack Harper is one of the last few drone repairmen left on what's left of Earth after an alien invasion 60 years earlier. He patrols the skies in a cool plane, rides around on a cool bike and runs on a cool running machine, but when he's not using cool stuff he's plagued by mysterious dreams involving a woman (Olga Kurylenko) who just happens to show up in the wreckage of a crashed spaceship.

Director Joseph Kosinski says his film is an ode to science fiction films of the 70s and with a sleek look and wonderfully booming score, Oblivion adequately creates its own universe even if it has been pinched from every sci-fi movie ever made. Structurally it's a mess and Kosinski clearly didn't know how to hone all of his ideas into one cohesive story because there are so many ideas, so many plot strands and so many twists it feels like they've thrown everything at the wall in the hope that it'll stick, and not even poor Tom Cruise can save it as he's got buggar all to do.

Speaking of, I think Tom needs to sit down and have a bloody good think about what he's doing with his career. Harper is such a non-character it's led many to believe that he only took the role because he gets to save everyone (not a spoiler, he always saves everyone) and drive a funky white motorcycle. I understand that at the age of 50 time is running out for Tom to play the hero and kick the shit out of himself (srsly), but his apparent need to take film roles that only enhance his ego instead of characters of actual interest is starting to put massive cracks in his CV. Homeboy needs another Collateral, and fast.

It isn't awful, but for a two hour film with endless cool shit, Melissa Leo's crazy southern accent and Morgan Freeman looking like the mutant lovechild of Ray Charles and Grace Jones, Oblivion is a big ball of meh.