Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Oblivion: Blu Ray Review

Oblivion: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by Universal Home Entertainment

Tom Cruise returns in this latest from the director of the TRON: Legacy film and those behind Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He plays Jack Harper, one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on an Earth which has been abandoned for years following decades of war with a group known as the Scavs. Along with Victoria, his wife (played with ice maiden overtones by Andrea Riseborough) they maintain the fleet of drones, protecting the earth from the threat of the Scavs.

Yet, when a series of drones go down, and a spaceship crashes with a beautiful survivor Julia (Olga Kurylenko) onboard, Jack finds his life changed forever as everything he knows (or thinks he knows) is blown apart.

Oblivion is an incredible piece of visual sci-fi, which reeks of epic scale. From its sleek, wonderfully realised world of day-after-tomorrow style technology to some brutally intense fight sequences (Attack of the Drones anyone?), it's one of those films which screams to be watched on the biggest screen possible.

Director Kosinski, who cut his teeth on TRON: Legacy has done an incredible job of harnessing the power of VFX - from the robot drones which hover in the sky to the ship which Cruise pilots, it's certainly up there with some of the best.

And yet, that's where Oblivion starts to falter a little. It all feels a little too familiar in places, particularly if you're well versed in various sci-fi tropes. It feels very reminiscent of many others from the genre and while it mashes a lot of those influences together, you can't help but feel towards the end, that new movie Oblivion has offered little to the genre and is ever so slightly derivative. It's very much a case of style over substance in terms of story, rather than spectacle which is a real shame for the genuine concept behind the Oblivion movie. Based on a graphic novel, there's very much the feel of a video game in this as well; mend the drones, rescue the girl, save the planet etc as each sequence segues into the next; complete with an at times OTT OST with blasting synth and drums at key moments, you can't help but feel this is occasionally console entertainment, stepped up for the big screen.

Overall, the Oblivion movie isn't a disaster by any stretch of the imagination; as the mystery initially plays out, you do find yourself drawn in, but as the pieces begin to slot together, you can't help but feel you've seen it all before - and given the concept those involved put together, it's a real shame.

Extras: Deleted scenes, making of, isolated score, commentary with Tom Cruise


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