Tom Cruise Plays Video Game; It’s Fun!
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman
Review written by Tom Bevis
I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking you really like sci-fi movies, and it’s been just so long since you saw a good one. But, hot damn, you don’t like Tom Cruise or movies that look like they’re ripping off any sci-fi movie from The Matrix to The Postman.
Well, the simple solution here is to just swallow whatever doubts you may have and go buy a ticket to Oblivion.
You gotta believe me when I say Oblivion is one of the best sci-fi flicks I’ve seen in a while. In years, probably. It’s got action, but the film doesn’t overly rely on it. It’s got enough romance to constitute a story but not enough to bore me to tears. It’s got just that right amount of science to seem justifiable but not enough to seem like I’m stuck in freshman physics again. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Oblivion is a good, good movie.
That isn’t to say that it’s not a silly sci-fi film, because it is. This movie has more than enough ridiculous “man, I know that doesn’t seem like it would be true, but hey, this is a movie and I’m having fun” moments, but everything in the picture works so well and the film moves fast enough for you to get over it with the course of the action.
Now, it’s is kind of like The Matrix.
Okay, you’re pretty smart: it’s a lot like The Matrix, from the nature of its science-fiction roots to Morgan Freeman playing a character that might as well be Morpheus (I mean, they just stole from The Matrix’s unused wardrobe for his costume, didn’t they?), there’s a lot of The Matrix in this movie. But you know what? This movie is just as fast and just as fun as the original Wachowski’s film was, so I don’t see too much of a problem with that.
This is where you’re all thinking that I must be mad. This movie is starring Tom Cruise! That can’t be a good sign, can it?
While I’m not really a Tom Cruise fan – which is to say that his presence in a movie is typically enough to avoid it until it reaches rental status – this isn’t a typical Tom Cruise movie. He doesn’t play the same impossible-to-stop-look-at-me-I-can-do-anything character. He’s less plastic here, slightly more emotive. This film is a good vehicle for him because it allows him to loosen up and doesn’t require too much heavy lifting on his part. He’s not only tolerable here, but he’s perfect in this role. This movie may as well have been made for him.
And, can I just say, this movie is astoundingly beautiful! It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen a movie in IMAX and actually thought that it was justified. This movie ranges from extremely and exceedingly bright and brilliant to woefully dingy and dull with all the realism Hollywood could muster, and, I basically have to say, it is just gorgeous. From long, sweeping environmental shots to close, shiny actions sequences with robots and space ships and other cool sci-fi stuff, this movie meets the standard for beautiful camerawork.
And the CGI – it’s impossible to ignore it here in this movie, but it’s so well crafted, so artistically integrated into the fabric of the film that you can’t even notice it outside of the real stuff. I mean, it’s not intrusive or insulting in any manner, as we all know CGI can be in sci-fi movies. It’s the perfect amount used in the perfect way to create a stable, solid, easy to consume brainless sci-fi film that the masses demand and just about anyone can have fun with.
Oblivion was made for gamers. I’m not going to lie: every time the camera scoped down the sight of a gun, I was wishing in the bottom of my soul for a good licensed video game from this production. Hell, even if it’s a bad licensed video game from this film, if it has just a quarter of this movie’s fun and beauty, yeah, I’ll drink the Kool-Aide. Even the ship’s controls in this film looked like a perfect, non-obtrusive heads-up display in a flight simulator.
If you’re contemplating whether you should actually make it out to a theater this weekend or if you should just watch 2001: A Space Odyssey for posterity, I urge you to put on your shoes and get out to see this one. Drive-in, multiplex, single-screen cinema, whatever you have, just see this movie.