I was going to tap something out today about Joseph Kosinski and Tom Cruise‘s Oblivion (Universal, 4.19) but other stories intervened. I’ll post something semi-substantial tomorrow, but here are three fast observations:
(1) For a big futuristic CG-space-travel movie with a complex plot that (a) doesn’t really tie together, (b) goes off the rails somewhere between the halfway and two-thirds mark (beware of the clones) and (c) uses a foretold darkish ending and then chickens out at the very end, Oblivion can at least lay claim to one good thing. It’s significantly less irritating than Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus. I think it’s entirely fair and accurate to say this. To a lot of people this will sound like a plus.
(2) Cruise always knows how to deliver the right behavior in big event-type films. He’s always “in the moment” of any given scene and never winks at the audience. Not blatantly, I mean. To Cruise’s credit, he always underplays it just slightly. I’m always comfortable with him because he almost never does or “acts” or emotes anything that seems wrong or excessive.
(3) For all its irritations, Oblivion does take you to an exotic world that’s not overly dystopian, that seems like a reasonably realistic environment, and that is often visually intriguing. A lot of people go to movies like this in order to take trips. They play along with the plot and characters and whatnot, but they’ve mainly bought their tickets in order to experience a new world. Oblivion is familiar in a few ways, yes, but at the very least those salt-water energy turbines are cool.