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Tom Cruise’s Oblivion has plenty of style, but where’s the substance? By Richard Crouse and Liz Brown Metro Canada April 19, 2013

Oblivion-Trailer-ScreenshotSYNOPSIS: Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a security and drone maintenance man on planet earth sixty years after a war with the alien Scavs destroyed all life on the planet. Nearing the end of his mission on the desolate place, he and girlfriend Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are due to return to home base, now located in outer space. Thing is, Jack doesn’t really want to leave. He has memory jolts, little shards of recollections the life he led before the war and his memory wipe, and he wants to stay and explore them. When he discovers a human survivor, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), he begins to question everything about his existence.


Richard: 2 ½ Stars
Liz: 3 Stars

Richard: Liz, this is one stylish movie. Every frame could be clipped and hung on the wall to garner oohs and ahhs from your houseguests. Everything about it looks great. Morgan Freeman even wears a jaunty cape. But, I’m afraid the style took precedence over the substance. There is much to like here, but for me the story starts to go slightly out of orbit in the last hour and never quite becomes earthbound again. What did you think?

Liz: Richard, I agree. The sights from Jack and Vika’s fabulous tower in the sky, the sweeping aerial scenes, and don’t get me started on Jack’s secret mountain hideaway where he listened to Zeppelin on vinyl — the stunning visuals made me crave a life in a post-apocalyptic world. The wild tale was fun, until it turned into a renegade Armageddon. I don’t know if Joseph Kosinski ran out of ideas as he wrote, but the last half feels a bit hastily cobbled together.

RC: It does. I won’t give away any spoilers from the last half because the plot thickens near the end, but it still manages to be kind of standard. Of course there is a scene of Cruise out running a giant fireball, and does everyone in post apocalyptic worlds listen to classic rock? But having said that, I liked a lot of this. This is the kind of movie Tom Cruise was born to star in, the sort of thing that made him a superstar. What did you think of co-star Olga Kurylenko?

LB: Olga’s Bond Girl cred makes her the perfect counterpoint to Cruise’s action hero swagger — his comfort in these types of roles is palpable and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. After a few flops last year, Tommy is back in my good books!

RC: Nobody outruns a fireball quite like Cruise and I thought Riseborough brought a lot of humanity to a character who isn’t required to do much. Much of the heavy lifting is left to Olga’s character, and while she’s beautiful, I’m afraid she has the range of an emoticon. She does much better work in To the Wonder.

LB: Riseborough was great in her role — though her character’s refusal to question the status quo irked me. I like my ladies a little stronger. This is no Minority Report, but it’s a fun futuristic adventure fronted by Tom Cruise.

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