Oblivion (2013) - A well crafted blockbuster but there would have been even more in this - 8/10 (16/05/13)
From time to time, it can happen that a new American blockbuster hits the movie theatres that is not a prequel, sequel or remake. This is also the case for the effect loaded science-fiction epic "Oblivion" and I decided to give the film a fair try.
On the positive sides, there are the graphics and special effects. I don't know why this movie didn't get a 3D release. Usually I'm not a big fan of 3D movies and in most of the movies I've seen that way it all just seemed like a quick way to grab some more cash and wasn't all to outstanding but "Oblivion" could have become a milestone of science- fiction cinema like "Avatar" if a few more efforts were put into these spectacular scenes. Besides that little flaw, the images of this movie are very inspiring.
The science-fiction side of the film isn't bad either. The buildings, engines and machines one can observe are very well crafted such as the luxurious main residence, the white flight object and the white motorcycle. Architects and artists will fairly enjoy these detailed inventions.
On the other side, the movie didn't only include visual gimmicks but also a few more down to earth aspects. The hidden valley is gorgeous and the remains of several famous buildings of the past make me think of "The Day After Tomorrow". I also like the fact that this movie still keeps a focus on the human side. Of course there are spaceships and drones but this movie doesn't include intelligent robots, scary aliens or similar ordinary stuff we have seen over and over again. From that point of view, the film just includes the right mixture between fictional elements and a focus on the human characters.
Concerning the artistic aspect, I must also add that the soundtrack of the movie is really epic and well crafted. Until now, it's by far the best score of the year 2013. Along with the flawless score of last year's "Django Unchained" and maybe the new blockbuster "The Great Gatsby", the soundtrack should definitely get a nomination for the next Academy Awards.
Let's talk about the actors now. I'm not a big fan of Tom Cruise but his acting was better than I expected and is solid enough to carry the movie. Olga Kurylenko has always been an actress that I liked but she is not very impressive and rather pale in this movie. I miss a profound side and some development on her character. The secondary roles are far more convincing. Morgan Freeman is great as usual but his role is definitely too small. The biggest surprise to me was Andrea Riseborough. Her acting is charming and highly emotional. I didn't really know her before but after watching "Oblivion" I sure won't forget her anytime soon.
What about the story now? I think that the movie takes way too much time in the beginning to introduce us into the everyday life of the two main actors. The first thirty minutes definitely have their lengths before anything intriguing happens. The plot that kicks off then has a few weird elements or even slight plot holes such as the obscure crash landing of a space shuttle but the story gets more and more vivid and intriguing. The movie has a few twists that are quite well done. They didn't really surprise me because I have seen rather similar movies in the past but they will surely surprise many people and I had no problem with a few more evident twists because they were well thought out and played as well. The story is not all too complicated to follow but keeps an intellectual touch with many aspects you may still think about a few days after you've watched this movie. This flick has indeed a slightly philosophical approach and this aspect makes the movie stand out from similar features.
As a slight letdown, I thought that the ending was a little bit unspectacular after all but I wouldn't call it butchered either.
In the end, we have a technically and visually impressive movie with a solid and twisted story line and an intriguingly philosophical or intellectual touch. I still think that there could have been more in this with a few more efforts put into the effects and the story itself that had its lengths but it's nevertheless among the best movies I have watched so far in this year. Science-fiction fans shouldn't expect a milestone but will discover a very entertaining and well crafted blockbuster that is worth some time and attention. I will surely watch this movie again in the years to come.« Lincoln (2012) - This failed classic feels pointless and inconsistent - 4/10 (15/05/13)Bader Nana reviews »
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