Reviewed by Movie Moxie’s Alicia Glass
Studio: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG 13
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Review Rating: 7
On post-apocalyptic Earth, a technical repairman discovers mysteries on a crashed spacecraft and begins to question everything about his world.
The film is billed as epic, and yes it is, at least for the long shots of destroyed Earth. Drone repairman Jack Harper (does anyone else hear him say “Jack Reacher”?) is Tom Cruise, his station partner Victoria is played by Andrea Riseborough, the love interest Julia is Olga Kurylenko, and the mystery man with many answers is of course Morgan Freeman as Beech.
They even dropped in Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Beech’s Lieutenant Sykes. Sadly the awesome cast and the grand scope of cinematography cannot save the film from it’s major problem – the plot.
An alien race generally known as the Scavs came and attacked humanity, destroyed the moon and pretty much wrecked half the Earth in doing so. All that’s left is radioactive Badlands, great swaths of virtually nothing, giant water recycler things, mechanical drones to support the machines, and a pair of techs, Jack and Vicka, to oversee the operation.
Humanity has supposedly gone to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, and Vicka and Jack have two more weeks to go before they can board the giant ship called TET that will take them there too. Jack, for his part, questions why he had to undergo “voluntary” memory wipe for this job, collects Earthen artifacts, has prophetic dreams he swears are memories, and even builds himself a cabin out of spares that he could happily live in if he could just convince Vicka to go with him.
Things are somewhat idyllic. Then a ship crashes down out of the sky and of course Jack has to go investigate it, finding a single passenger in a sleep pod he rescues before the drones can destroy her along with everything else. And it turns out hey, guess what, he seems to know her from somewhere. Of course Jack just has to further investigate this whole strange situation, and the more he learns, the more he begins to question his very existence on what’s left of Earth, what really happened to the Earth in the first place and his role in that, and what he can do to remedy the catastrophe before it’s too late.
I can’t go into Beech’s character, or Sykes, or even Julia without giving the entire plot away. I will say though, that the plot itself is not well explained and seems to be often sacrificed in favor of epic long shots and Tom Cruise looking all heroic. Any real Sci-Fi nerd can probably guess the plot about halfway through the movie, and is likely to be highly disappointed by what could have been a totally epic ending that instead just kind of peters out into darkness. The title is appropriate at least, after all, one can plot-hole a movie into Oblivion.