Oblivion or Oblivious? A review…

Oblivion or Oblivious?
Well, the former is verging on the latter, it has to be said…
I’m a big lover of science fiction, in its many forms.  As a child I avidly read AsimovClarke and many more.  I bought the first issue of 2000AD, the comic which introduced us to Judge Dredd.  I’m sure it had a plastic spinning disc with three arms in the centre stuck to the front as a free gift…  I once had a sew on arm patch from an Apollo mission and a poster for Revenge of the Jedi.
That’s right…  I said ‘Revenge‘.
As a movie addict, I devour the films.  Whether it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey,Star Wars, the X-Men films (I used to read their comics too), Event HorizonBlack HoleI, Robot and more, I’d rush to watch and thoroughly enjoy being taken away to times and realities far from my own.
I’m quite partial to most Tom Cruise films too.  Action and adventure, thrills and spills, they all entice me.  I wasn’t over keen on the last Mission Impossible film, however.  Great ideas and stunts, but should the gadgets go wrong?  I don’t think so.  I love Simon Pegg, and he was great as the franchise’s ‘Q‘ character, but those gloves, the mask creator doodad and so on.  Part of the essence of MI was the spectacular inventions as well as the non-stop action.
Cruise was good in Collateral and I thought inspired in Rock of Ages.  Rain Man is a classic (though Dustin Hoffman steals the film).
2015, the Year of the Blockbuster brings us another outing from the Mission Impossible stable, but it has to go up against new iterations of Independence DayStar WarsTerminatorPirates of the CaribbeanThe AvengersFinding Dory (Nemo), Fantastic FourJurassic ParkJames BondAvatarHunger GamesAlvin & the Chipmunks (?!) and Inferno (Dan Brown).  There’s also slated a Warcraft film, Assassin’s Creed, another Kung Fu Panda, the Penguins of Madagascar and possibly even a Prometheus 2!
And breathe.
Oh, and prepare my tent for camping out at the Parkway (my local cinema in Cleethorpes – great place!)
So.  I had high hopes, as Kodaline might say, of Oblivion.  It’s a bit of a surprise that I hadn’t found myself watching it long before now, but life waits for no film, hence I didn’t.  So there.  Last night I had chance of a quiet moment or two and decided, finally, to go for a bit of a Cruise.
It started out slow.  Probably, I thought, building the tension.  Waiting for the huge climax.  Interspersing the film with pathos and then flipping into explosions and stunts and breathlessness.
After a while of not a lot happening, I interrupted my viewing for 20 minutes of the 30 Day Shred (day 4).   I was certainly more breathless from this than anything Oblivion had thrown at me thus far.  I then returned to the movie hoping things would pick up.
They did, but they also didn’t.  I won’t give anything away about the plot (I had my fingers burned when I accidentally let slip a very important fact regarding the wonderful Judi Dench’s brilliant portrayal in Skyfall – oops), but then, there wasn’t much of one to give away.
The various set pieces, for me, weren’t big enough.  They didn’t draw out the tension and I couldn’t find myself particularly feeling for the characters.  I didn’t fear the Predator lookey-like Scavs.  Olga Kurylenko is decidedly lovely, though, but her performance was a touch wooden.  I was disappointed with Morgan Freeman – something I could never imagine myself saying.  Shawshank is one of my all time favourites.  I thought he was a fab God in the Almighty films.  I even liked him in Dreamcatcher.  Unfortunately, his brief appearance in this left me cold.  It was too predictable.  It had been done too many times before.
And we knew, didn’t we, he’d go for that gun turret?
There were many things that could have been built on, the events in the Radiation Zone for one.  I thought many of the ideas were good, but none of this film was particularly new.  And Independence Day 2 is coming out in a couple of years, please don’t steal ideas from the first and then do them so blandly!
I could go on, but this film did it for me (went on).  It’s a shame.  The cast was good.  The ideas were there, but they weren’t developed.
It was fine for a bit of entertainment, but just a bit.  At the end, I asked myself if I’d enjoyed it, but couldn’t really answer.  I didn’t NOT enjoy it, but that’s not the same thing.
The shower afterwards and a mind spinning through various aspects of Visual basic code I was trying to figure out helped me ease into sleep.
Oblivion could almost have done that itself.

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