Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Oblivion

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 59% (Critics) / 67% (Audience)
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski
Written By: Joseph Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Melissa Leo
Studio: Universal Pictures

Synopsis: One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands. (Source)
The Good:
I have gone on record before of stating how much I enjoy Tom Cruise as an actor but I really enjoy him in his action hero roles and he doesn’t disappoint here. He convincingly pulls off all the facets of his character and makes Jack Harper a very easy protagonist to root for.
The cinematography and visual effects for OBLIVION were also top notch and I really enjoyed the extended “birds-eye” views of the decimated future Earth as Cruise’s Harper traveled from place to place.

The Bad:
The women in this movie were so underwhelming it was ridiculous. Andrea Riseborough as Cruise’s partner/lover had moments where she looked to be on the verge of doing something worthwhile but those were all fleeting and Olga Kurylenko was just about the most damselfly damsel in distress I have seen in many a year. She served no purpose other than to look longingly at Cruise and give him reasons to be heroic.
And how the hell do you underuse Morgan Freeman? Once Freeman signed on to this film his role should have been beefed up just to take advantage of the opportunity that comes from having such a magnificent actor in the cast.

The Ugly:
The villains in OBLIVION were soulless automatons literally. Cruise and company spent the majority of the movie battling against robotic killer drones and while 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and CHOPPING MALL have shown that robots can be quite menacing, they need to be injected with a bit of personality first. All we got in OBLIVION were a bunch of oversized Pokemon balls with gun turrets attached to them and a Ellie Mae Clampett version of Hal voiced by Melissa Leo in a role that gave her very little to work with.

Final Verdict: A visually appealing movie with a nice performance by Tom Cruise and a spiffy little twist at the halfway point but it came up lacking in overall storyline cohesion. I liked what I was watching well enough but I was constantly waiting for something more to happen yet it never did.

Rating: C+

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