Oblivion

I'm not sure the title to this film is spot on. The word oblivion tends to sum up cheerful images of dark voids of nothingness, a great depressing abyss stretching out, a primordial scream into space (where - as we all know - no one can hear you). So, the visuals in this film jar against the title. For a sci-fi, it's pretty unique - lots of bright, sunny skies, fluffy clouds and hours of daylight, 'another day in paradise'.

It's 2077 and no surprise, we human's didn't make it another 60 years, instead we escaped to the 'Tete' after winning a war where we obliterated the planet fighting an alien race. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) works as a snappily dressed security repairman. He's got two weeks left on the job before he and his co-worker Vicka (Andrea Riseborough) can join the survivors on the colony which's shadowy presence haunts him in the sky's he protects. Reality takes a turn when a beautiful stranger Julia (Olga Kurylenko) arrives suddenly when her ship crashes into earth like a metriorite causing Jack to question everything he knows.

Module 49 is home to Jack and Vicka, and it's a comfortable, slick pod nestled in the sky with a handy add on see-through swimming pool. Clearly, the humans managed a trip to IKEA to kit it out before destroying the planet. Handy also, was the stylish wardrobe left for Vicka's work wear - complete with matching heels. Business as usual. 

So, there are signs that not all is 'paradise'. For one, I couldn't understand why Vicka hadn't gone beserk with cabin fever, forced to watch a computer and repeat stock phrases all day in their sky pod. There's not much of a view, and very little conversation. I kept wanting Jack to come home to find her slouched out in her grey tracksuit, crying into a bucket of icecream asking 'what's the point of it all' - but maybe that's just my Friday night. Afterall, she even manages an outfit change for dinner.

Also, there's Morgan Freeman, leader of the 'Skavs'. He's wearing sunglasses... but he lives in a hole in the ground? It's annoying - almost as much as when you see people in nightclubs wearing them. Unless you're registered blind you're solely indicating you're a moron. And his character kind of it. The production designer had clearly been watching a lot of Mad Max before taking their ideas to wardrobe, so the visuals clearly indicate a tribe of rebel humans, but there's very little rebellion. Not until (literally) a knight in faded white armour arives on his steed (or solar bike if you want to be pedantic). One issue is, how on earth the Scavs knew about Julia's ship and how to contact it with a rogue signal. Maybe that's what the sunglasses hide - rolling eyes from such an obvious plot gap?

Pace in this film is an issue. I found it exciting up until the big battle - but this tends to be a trend with big budget sci-fi films. I guess if you're paying for all that CGI you want to get your money's worth - but I just find them so dull. If you've got Tom Cruise as your lead man, the audience knows you're not going to kill him off, so any 'danger' is just a tedious set piece you have to wait through.

Also, with lots of sci-fi's you kind of have to leave your brain at the door, as there are lots of gaping plot gaps and frankly WTF moments in the plot. The biggest has to be, why doesn't Jack 49 tell the Skav's of his lovely lake home which he squirrels Julia away too when he heads off to save the world in the big finale? Her secret pregnancy shows some twin 3 year olds running about greeting a knackered troop of Skav's who've just arrived. 3 years! Pretty harsh Jack not to tell them. Also, that's not Jack 49 playing Dad with Julia. It's Jack 52. Thinking about it, where are all the other Jack clones? Still buzzing about in their quadrant's fixing up drones? Who knows. Who cares. Maybe they all rock up eventually to the Lake and Julia can have 51 other Jack's to hang out with. Shudder.