Why so many bleak-future movie reviews lately?? Dudefest.com is hooked on that shit.
OBLIVION is no exception. It portrays Earth in 2077, and it is VERY bleak. Basically, all the humans left earth after we bombed the shit out of ourselves fighting a war against invading aliens. So we humans further rape the planet by extracting all the resources left, and peacing out to another planet. Jack Harper (Cruise) is a technician that keeps tabs on the machines harvesting salt water and has skirmishes with the aliens stuck on earth, whom he calls Scabs. He is the only human left on earth, aside from his fiery minx of a communications partner/sex specialist, Victoria. They are a couple, as well as work partners, and are on earth for only 2 more weeks before joining the other humans in space. The nagging doubt about this story begins when we learn that they both underwent mandatory memory wipes 5 years ago, so they only know what a vacant mass orbiting the earth (a spaceship, called the Tet, holding the rest of the humans, we assume) told them. Neither can remember anything before that, nor have they had any other human contact in five years. SOUNDS FISHY, NO???
Harper is a mainstay Tom Cruise dude - a Crude, if you will: He is a tad reckless, always roguishly dashing, and witty. But he has something a bit deeper going on too, which is central to the story. To be covered later. Victoria, on the other hand, is a pouty fox that never leaves their house (read: annoying as shit), preparing food and sex for Harper. What a Gal! Good thing she’s got an A+ booty, ’cause Harper’d be fucking ANYTHING if he’d only seen himself for 5 years.
Did I mention that Victoria is attractive?
Jack Harper has an affinity for the pre-war life on Earth that was summarily eradicated, and has flashbacks of memories from that time period, before he was born (with another sexpot in them, thankfully). These flashbacks are eating at Harper’s belief in the whole alien-attacked-humans-fucked-earth theory, and he’s noticing that the Scabs are smarter than he thinks they are. Soooooo we know that he’s gonna go rogue at some point, right? RIGHT?
SPOILER ALERT: Things unravel faster when a small vessel crashes down to Earth, holding humans (including his sexpot dream partner, which is crazy). Just when we might expect it to happen, Harper gets caught by the Scabs. He is surprisingly well adjusted to the fact that they are HUMANS. I mean, his whole shit just got turned around, he should be puking on the floor like Neo on the Nebuchadnezzar. Morgan Freeman is the leader of the humans, whom we learn used to be under Harper’s command in the Military Woah. Freeman enlightens Harper, but in true Crude fashion, he has to make up his own mind, and sets out to find the truth, which Freeman, rather fortunately, tells him is “over there”. Or something like that.
Cruise finds out the truth, which is as we might have guessed an hour ago: Harper’s bosses are aliens. THEY brainwashed Harper and Victoria. THEY destroyed Earth, and are now raping it. THEY programmed Victoria for sex (not really, thats probably just on her). So, Freeman has a plan, and he and Harper go up and destroy the Tet. Boom.
There is a lot of good computer generated scenery in the movie, including the scene where Jack Harper is in the shelled out Meadowlands Stadium, and has an okay soliloquy about the game of football. In this future however, there are lots of sleek and clean gadgety things that could be a lot cooler. I felt that this future was too sterile and white, not very gritty, and essentially kinda lame. But I guess sterile precision could be construed as a foil to the ravaged landscape Harper has to overcome, yet has found beauty in. In a way, streamlined dumbness is in conflict with lingering and grungy vitality in Harper’s mind, and after his faith in the system begins to crack, that vitality wins him over.