Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Look, I'm just going to say it. Oblivion was sci-fi for chicks

The story goes like this:
It is 2077 and Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a drone repair man. He and his wifey are living at the top of a wicked-cool house above the clouds of earth. Earth, as we know it, has been destroyed after a war against an alien race. Circling the earth is a mahoosive space station apparently harbouring the survivors from earth. The human race is collecting water from our planet, ready to take it to one of the moons of Jupiter. Humans are going to start again.
Massive constructs are sucking up the water from the oceans and the drones protect them. Some aliens have apparently been left behind on earth and keep trying to sabotage the collection of the water. The drones are routinely attacked too, and so Harper must wake up every morning to go find missing drones, fix them up and send them on their merry way.

I have to admit. It's a pretty original premise! I was impressed!

To cut a long story short though, things start to go wrong and those aliens turn out to be humans and well, it's all just a mahoosive conspiracy and well - y'know, you'll find out. I don't want to give it all away.
Apparently this film cost around $120 million. $120 MILLION FOLKS! The CGI at times was truly quite wonderful. The movie is full of beautiful mountain scenery, gorgeous canyons, deserts, clouds etc etc. It's a feast for the eyes; but it seems that the director/producers thought that excellent special-effects were going to have us completely oblivious to the holes in the story.

This film is full of plot-holes. When I say full... I mean spilling over with them. It's just shocking. I love good sci-fi, I do. I don't need to understand everything; but come on, the plot-holes were CATASTROPHIC. So glaringly obvious that it started to look like the story-line was rushed.

Credit where credit is due, Tom Cruise was actually pretty amazing. I know, I can't believe I'm saying this too, but it was an excellent performance. If you imagine, 50% of the movie is Cruise alone on screen, I think he carried the movie very gracefully and was believable. Of course it's full of fighting, so for anybody who just likes to see examples of his 'prowess' you'll certainly get your fill in this film.

This movie have all the regular sci-fi movie tropes; aliens, advanced-technologies, action, suspense, clones, conspiracy, action, space-travel, explosions and romance... 
...hold up. Did I say romance? 

And this brings me to why this movie is sci-fi for chicks.
The whole movie... we find out, all rests on a romance story. Yah, and some random love-triangle which lacked believability. It wasn't even believable romance. It was something else. Contrived. Forced. This movie could have been a beautiful homage to hardcore sci-fi fans but instead they decided to stick their middle finger up at true men and women of sci-fi and instead cater for chicks who were going to be dragged to watch the movie by their husbands/boyfriends. It just didn't make sense.

The Matrix, for instance, had a romance-plot, but it wasn't IMPERATIVE to the story, and they certainly didn't seem to decide a third in to the storyline that actually it is memories of lost love that will save the whole human race. The Matrix has a sci-fi romance-plot done right. 

Bah. Disappointing.

This could have been awesome; but it wasn't.

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