Tuesday evening, my husband and I attended the preview of “Oblivion” with Morgan Freeman and Tom Cruise. The premise of the film was very good: Imagine that everything you knew was a lie, including yourself. What would you do when you found out?.
The movie is set in 2077, 60 years after our moon was blown up by aliens called Scavs, destroying large portions of the earth. We fought back. In a variation of an old theme, we won the war, but lost the planet. Large areas are wasteland and the rest is radioactive. Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are the last two people left on the planet. Their job is to keep up the equipment that is extracting earth’s remaining resources for use by survivors fleeing to Titan, Saturn’s moon. In two weeks, Jack and Victoria will join them for the journey.
This is when Jack’s whole world begins to fall apart. Every day, he leaves the truly gorgeous home in the clouds he shares with Victoria to repair equipment and do battle with the remaining Scavs. He discovers a beacon they have set up, but not in time to stop a NASA spaceship it has summoned from crashing. The only survivor, a woman named Julia (Olga Kurylenko), has haunted his dreams for some time. Who is she? And why does he “know” her?
The movie has a lot of really cool gadgetry and machinery, but the promise of the original premise is never fully realized. There are stretches of time when basically nothing happens and we are left wishing something, anything would. Also, there are many ideas brought up briefly and then dropped. The finale is particularly disappointing as the biggest question of all, “Who were the aliens really?” is not answered.
On the plus side, this really is a PG-13 movie, not an R movie in disguise. There is very little cursing and it is appropriate to the situations where it is used. There is a very brief scene when Victoria is skinny-dipping in the clear pool that is suspended over the sky from the cloud house. We see her naked rear very briefly before she pulls Jack, whom she believes is her husband, into the pool with her. He is fully clothed and we only see their embrace from too far to make out any details. Finally, there is a lot of shooting, but no gore. You really could take a 13-year-old to this movie without worry.
I give this show a C+.