Oblivion Review – AFI On the Red Carpet
April 11, 2013


Earlier tonight I attended the Hollywood premiere of Oblivion starring Tom Cruise.

Is it worth it or should you skip it and watch Tron again? Review with mild spoilers, be warned…


Held at the Dolby Theatre, the star studded premiere for Oblivion, decorated with props from the movie, sets the stage for an epic film that will attempt to kick off summer movie season a bit early. In case you didn’t know, the movie stars Tom Cruise, who has been enjoying a boost in his career thanks to the box office of the most recent Mission: Impossible film. I was an unabashed fan of Ghost Protocol (that sounds like a paranormal office drama) and it re-instilled my love for Tom Cruise, movie star. I have a soft spot for Minority Report and while I feel War of the Worlds was a misstep for all parties involved, seeing Tom in a big-budget sci-fi movie was an exciting prospect.

When I first saw production art and stills for the movie I was intrigued and was not surprised that the movie was being directed by Joseph Kosinski, director of Tron: Legacy. I remember thinking the effects and visual style of Tron: Legacy to be very beautiful and fun to watch but the movie itself left me a little cold and confused (Tron is in the movie for about 10 seconds). Still an impressive effort for a first time director but falls short of being something bigger and better then it could’ve been which I think appropriately describes Oblivion.

Once again the special effects and art design leave an indelible impression on me, easily my favorite part of the move was the helicopter spaceship that Tom Cruise flies around in as well as all his cool Nintendo like laser guns. Not too mention his awesome dirt bike, seriously wait until you see it, it could be the Holiday item of 2074. But unlike Tron: Legacy I care about the characters a lot more and feel the emotional arc is very well handled.
I won’t get into the specifics of what exactly happens in the movie, but there is a third act plot twist that adds a layer of emotional/existential baggage to the love triangle in the movie. Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko both play important women in the life of Tom Cruise’s Jack Harper character, but the dynamic isn’t as straight forward as the trailers would lead you to believe. As the mysteries reveal themselves to the audience you get to view everybody’s actions in a new light which makes that aspect of the story interesting. Unfortunately I was disappointed with the plot twist itself, I wouldn’t call it predictable at all but is way too reminiscent of a much smaller, better sci-fi thriller. If you want to know which movie scroll to the bottom of the page but if you want to remain spoiler free stop reading now…
In all honesty, the action, acting, special effects, and writing all lend themselves to what should’ve been and could’ve been a home run. I don’t doubt at all that this movie will find an audience and could very well throw down the gauntlet for Iron Man 3 to have to match in a few weeks, but personally I couldn’t get over the plot twist. It just bothered me that it wasn’t something more original. The ending of Oblivion is a bit clunky the way it tries to tie up loose ends in a nice bow but at that point I was bummed that it had gone done the road that it did.

In the end Oblivion is something that’s slightly above average for mindless entertainment with heart. It’s momentum and style almost make up for the lack of originality. But I feel this tweet of mine describes why the movie fails for me…

New Picture

Cesar Zamora
Born and raised in El Paso, TX. I grew up collecting and displaying toys. My love for action figures has only been strengthened by the fact that the internet provides a community to share that love with. I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA freelance writing and buying too many toys.
Read other articles by Cesar Zamora.





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