Oblivion has been on my calendar since the end of 2012 when I saw a preview in Empire. A simple image of a destroyed Earth seems to be all it takes nowadays to entice me into the cinema and I wasn't even put off by Tom Cruise headlining - whose films I don't usually rate.
Since that moment I had decided I was watching the film and starved myself of all information about it until, well, a couple of hours ago when I hit the cinema.
Oblivion describes a world where the moon has been reduced to a satellite of rubble by aliens. Humans, who destroyed Earth to win the war, have fled to one of Saturn's moons (Titan) and machines are somehow harvesting Earth's water supply to sustain the population. These machines are being guarded by drones who fight off the remaining alien hoard known as Scavs.
Jack (Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) live in the sky and Jack is sent to Earth each day to repair drones that have been damaged by the Scavs. During his sleep he has a constantly recurring dream of a time before the invasion where he spends time with a mystery woman.
Let me start off by saying that I wasn't disappointed by all of the hype that I had put on myself surrounding this movie. It is a film that is based on an unpublished graphic novel and therefore is heavy on the special effects and using Joseph Kosinski as director is an inspired decision. I also loved his film Tron: Legacy (which was practically all CGI), so he was definitely the man to head up Oblivion - and it looks stunning.
Yet again, Oblivion is part of the growing trend where the studio gets in on the act by changing their introduction scene to 'fit in' as part of the storyline. This time, Universal has been very intelligent. I remember watching it and thinking it was different to normal - only for my suspicions to be confirmed shortly afterwards. Keep an eye out for that if you watch the film.
Many of the posters for Oblivion feature a waterfall coming down a skyscraper and it was that kind of grandeur that I was expecting to see on the big screen. I can't actually recall that picture being used, but as Jack travels from the utopian sky to post-apocalyptic Earth, through menacing thunderclouds every single sense is aroused by the imagery that has been created.
With films that are heavy on the CGI it is easy for the plot and character development to get lost and this is probably my biggest criticism of Oblivion. It was far too predictable. I managed to predict practically every part of the film (err, except for the touching final scene) - but this was because it panned out exactly how I wanted it to. For me, this made it enjoyable. For others, I can see why you wouldn't be too impressed.
Overall, a mixed bag. I can't recommend the film because of its predictability and I fully understand any criticism that it gets. However, as a method to transport you to another world for a couple of hours... it's perfect.