His personal life seems to be...you know, kind of a mess, but this man can ACT.
This was my primary reason for seeing the Joseph Kosinski directed film, Oblivion. To be honest, the movie trailer didn't interest me as it made the story line (in my opinion) come across as vague and boring but because Tom Cruise always kills it on screen, I figured that if he was in it, it'd be pretty good.
While there were really great things about this film, there were also some disappointing aspects that bothered me. So, here are my thoughts on Oblivion:
Tom Cruise Runs, Shoots, Lifts Heavy Objects, Looks Hot
Plant me in front of a screen to watch Tom Cruise running around and lifting heavy objects for a good two- nah, three hours and I'm a happy girl. Not only is he physically beautiful (so no matter what he's doing, it's going to look great) but his acting is so subtle that even when he's simply running from the bad guys, his face expressions and mannerisms bring me into the story and I'm right there, running with him. Tom is the kind of actor who makes action movies worth the money because for me, it's not just about the explosions (though explosions, when well done, are insanely awesome) or even about how muscular and gorgeous the action hero is-the acting is what pulls me in. If I can believe that the main character really cares about what's happening in the story, then I care.
So, in Oblivion Tom Cruise pulled this off very well. He played Jack Harper, a guy whose job is to repair drones on earth. When his job is finished, which it almost is, he and his teammate/girlfriend Victoria will move to Titan, where all of the humans who used to live on earth have already moved. The plot is pretty out there, but Tom was believable and so his acting drew me into the story.
The action sequences were very well thought out. In movies like Transformers I'm impressed until, after ten straight minutes of shooting, screaming, and large objects falling/exploding my eyes are heavy and I'm starting to yawn. I think directors sometimes think "Bigger is Better" and overdo the action sequences. But it's not necessarily bigger and louder that makes better, when it comes to film, tension is what makes it better. Well thought out tension makes an action sequence interesting. Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion did awesome in this aspect, I didn't want to take my eyes off of the screen for a half a second during those action sequences.
Female Characters Need A Voice
Okay. This is the part that bothered me. A LOT. A huge part of the story was that Jack Harper kept having flashbacks in which he'd see himself with a beautiful woman. Eventually, in real life, he met the beautiful woman and found out where she came from.
And then that was it.
This woman, played by Olga Kurylenko, had few lines and absolutely no personality whatsoever. It was just terrible. Though her character was an essential part of the story, she was written as having the personality of a brick wall. Tom Cruise may as well have been running around holding the hand of a mannequin.
So, despite Tom's great acting, there were quite a few moments where I found myself drifting out of the story and wondering, "Okay, wait a second...when are we going to find out what this girl is like? When is she going to do something other than look pretty and get hurt so Tom can save her?"
It was horrible.
Dear writers/directors, if you're going to have an essential female character in your stories, then make her a character with a personality, not just a pretty accessory for the male main character to tote around.
This happens far too often in action/sci fi movies. Female characters need to have a voice. It's 2013 guys, why haven't we figured this out yet?
The Movie Felt Rushed
As a whole, I felt like I was watching a movie that had been rushed along.
For example, one major plot line which affected the end of the film wasn't even depicted and it was assumed that the audience would just "get it".
Well, I didn't get it...so I left the theater confused and it took me a few days to understand what had happened.
There were also sub-themes that could have been excellent, but were not focused on. For example, Jack's relationship with the droids was interesting but I wish the director had used camera angles to play that up, giving us something to think about (humankind's relationship with technology etc...). There was also the whole idea of preferring the adventure of life in outer space to life on earth, this theme could have been explored more in depth, not necessarily through dialogue but through subtle work on the part of the Director, DP, and Cinematographer. So there were quite a few sub-themes that could have been accessed, but were left untouched.
I wonder if this happened because the movie was rushed along instead of allowed to breathe and given the attention that it deserved.
So, as a whole I'd give Oblivion two out of five stars. Tom and Andrea did great, but the movie itself could have been a lot better.