April 26, 2013

Oblivion (2013)

Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo

It's funny - wasn't I just talking about how all movies set in the future always have us living in some sort of post-apocalyptic setting? This is no exception. And while I'm on the subject, is it just me or do these movies also always include some kind of flying transportation and a motorcycle for our hero? You'd think that movie writers would understand that having the main guy ride a motorcycle is no longer subtle foreshadowing that he's a bit of a rebel. I think audiences caught on after X-Men, I, Robot, etc.

I don't have huge complaints about the casting in this movie, other than to say that Olga Kurylenko doesn't do anything for me, or the movie. Look, I get that she's a former model and I know how frequently I complain about ugly people in movies, but there's a balance to be had between looks and acting skills. Luckily, she doesn't have many lines, so the camera mostly just zooms in on her pouty face for close-ups, but in direct comparison to the other main girl in the movie, it's painfully obvious Olga can't hold her own. Frankly, after Quantum of Solace, I can't believe anyone thought to cast her in another movie. Who knows, maybe Tom Cruise's handlers are screening her to be his next wife.

Anyway, while watching the movie, you can't help but start referencing a number of other existing movies because it seems like everything is copied from something else. Tom Cruise's wardrobe? Ripped off the holsters from Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The pods of incubating humans? The Matrix. The "off limits" zone and the way all the regions of the US are numbered into districts? The Hunger Games. The deep sleep transportation pods? Avatar. (Which is ironic, really, since everything in Avatar seems to be copied from somewhere else too.) I could delve into all the aspects that copy sci-fi books, but then I would just seem like a dork. And I would [debatably] ruin the movie (assuming you can't already guess the ending while watching it). The point is, this movie feels very familiar, even though it's supposed to be brand new.

Final word: It's enjoyable enough, if for no other reason than it's basically a compilation of every futuristic movie you've already seen and enjoyed.

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