Movie Review – Oblivion (2013)

The year is 2077.

Sixty years ago, aliens came, fought a war with us humans and lost. Five years ago, Jack Harper volunteered to have his memory erased and go to Earth to help finish the preparations for the final evacuation to Titan. Now, Jack lives in an isolated tower with Vicky, where his part of  the job is to maintain and defend from the “scavs” the giant machines converting the Earth’s oceans into energy for use on Titan. Two weeks into the future, Jack will fly up to the Tet, the mother ship, and join everyone else on Titan.

What follows is 2 hours of excitement, betrayals, robots, spaceships, a shattered moon, a ruined post-apocalypse Earth and enough plot to grab you and not let go.

As I was watching, there were things appearing that didn’t make sense. Such as, if the Earth was so devastated, how did they build the Tet? That is less believable than building a Death Star above some backwaters forest moon. Early on, one character asks ‘if we won the war, then why is it that we are the ones leaving Earth?’ By the end, most, but not all, of these questions are answered.

The film is based on an unpublished graphic novel and the quality,  breadth and detail of the vision shows. Examples include the architecture of Jack’s home, the look of the pit Jack falls into, and Earth’s devastated landscape. It also freely borrows from other sources, such as the attack flight along the trench of Star Wars’ Death Star and the Planet of the Apes’ Statue of Liberty. For some reason, all flying machines use the glowing blue light method of propulsion, including the guard robots, which are the most evil looking white balls I’ve ever seen, especially when you’re on the receiving end of their gunfire.

Overall, Oblivion is a satisfying, good looking, old fashioned SF movie.

Reviewed by Ken M


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