Well, you gotta hand it to Tom Cruise. This time he's picked a project that's not exactly mainstream: a slick-looking sci-fi indie. I hate to discuss the plot, or the holes in it, as that's part of the fun... it is still fun, isn't it? But I am getting to the point where I don't have to watch these a second time to go "Oh! So he's the actual father!" There is one key assumption up front that's the proverbial lynchpin of the whole mystery, and if you buy that, you'll buy the whole premise. Okay, at least two. And as I hinted at earlier, kudos to the production design and the design of the various spaceships involved in Oblivion. Clearly these people will go on to design actual spaceships for the likes of Elon Gold... I mean, Elon Musk. I always confuse those two!
But really, I do have some complaints, and I'll focus on just two of them. First of all, the bottom's fallen out of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movie market. Second, the big, brief, Mametian summary of a few instructions about how to live life. Most movies have them nowadays, but Oblivion has one geared for the couples out there. Specifically, there's a line about growing old and fat together... hmm! Now where have I heard that one before? Oh, right! STEPHEN COLBERT, THAT'S WHERE!!!! I can't remember which show, of course, but maybe the crack Colbert staff can jump all over that! Do a "Who's Riding My Coat-Tails" segment that doesn't seem to be that popular. You're overdoing the T-Dubs, that's all I'm saying. And where's the "On Notice" board? Is fusilli pasta still on it? I don't know who's keeping track!
Ooh! Just remembered another one. You know that old movie cliché where Bad Guy A has got a gun on Good Guy B? And then... a shot rings out! But Good Guy B's not shot! Bad Guy A is... by Good Guy's Backup C just in the background. They've also had it on Person of Interest at least once that I can recall. It's used here in Oblivion which, for me, was unintentionally hilarious, seeing as how Bad Guy A in that instance was a bad-ass drone. They're not usually able to be taken out in a single shot, but for the sake of this cliché, it is. Great plot device! Sorry... SPOILER ALERT. Hopefully, this won't ruin the movie for you, but I figure there's so much action that you hopefully won't see it coming.
Now, I hate to be so shallow, but Tom Cruise has just turned 50 recently with no signs of slowing down... but once you turn 60, you might consider taking the occasional father role once in a while... a normal, non-action father role. Then again, Kirk Douglas did do that movie, Saturn 3. Apparently, Farrah Fawcett had some grandfather issues to work through. In space, no one can hear you apply Gold Bond medicated powder. I better quit while I'm ahead...
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan