I guess it’s a big trend these days to shoot and release movies that have that post-apocalyptic or zombie virus trend to them. This certainly is the case with “Oblivion.” Oddly enough, guess who happens to star in this movie? Yes, our beloved Jaime Lannister, aka Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who is becoming quite a household name in his own right). Of course, you have some heavy hitters who star in this movie – Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo. Former Bond gal Olga Kurlenko is also in it, as is the woman who portrayed Wallis Simpson in Madonna’s W/E, Andrea Riseborough.
The premise to set movie: Earth has become a dead planet, ruined by war and by a race of aliens known as “Scavengers.” The destruction was endless: the Moon was completely wiped out by the Scavengers. There is no moon and this causes the oceans have no regulation and no tidal system, resulting in earthquakes and tsunamis. Once the destruction of the Moon was complete, the Scavengers waged war on Earth. In war, any weapon at your disposal is used to fight hostile enemies and the weapon on choice was nuclear. We all know that nuclear weapons have a negative effect on the environment and the use of these weapons to fight off the enemy leaves the Earth barren and dead, with no chance of human beings being able to survive on the surface. Any survivors sought refuge on one of two space stations that orbit Earth and Titan (one of Saturn’s many moons).
Tom Cruise portrays Jack Harper, who is a repairman stationed on the Earth. Jack is in charge of Tower 49, which is some sort of base which stands alone in what was once the north eastern portion of the United States. Jack and his girlfriend, Victoria, work together to make sure that the autonomous drones that generate fusion power from the seawater are maintained and protected from future Scavenger attacks. Their job is to basically oversee the production and make sure it all goes smoothly, so they can finally take off to Titan. In charge of this mission is their commander, Sally, who is located on the large space station, also known as the “Tet.” The “Tet” station can only transmit line of sight messages to Jack and Victoria. Jack has to do most of the leg work while Victoria oversees from Tower 49, which is far above sea level.
The plan is that Jack and Victoria will soon leave Earth and join the rest of the people on the “Tet” in about two weeks’ time. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. As part of some form of security protocol, Jack and Victoria had their memories wiped completely clean five years prior…except that it’s not working anymore. At least not with Jack. He keeps have visions of a strange woman at the Empire State Building before the war – which took place before he was actually born. Jack has a secret location that he frequents, in an area heavily covered by trees.
Crisis arises when an enemy Scavenger beacon transmitting coordinates off of Earth results in a crash of an alien space ship. The crew is killed off by drones except for one woman – the woman that Jack keeps dreaming about. Her name is Julia and her ship, the Odyssey, was on a NASA mission but she refuses to reveal anything else. While in the process of getting the ships’ flight recorder, they are caught by the Scavengers – who are not aliens. They are humans, led by a man named Malcolm. These humans have been living underground in what is known as the Raven Rock Mountain complex. Malcolm says that the alien invasion was nothing but lies and wants Jack to get a captured drone, reprogram it, in order to destroy the “Tet” – but Jack refuses. Jack and Julia are sent to find out the truth in an area that was forbidden to him, the ‘radiation zone.’
Jack asks about Julia, who she was and surprisingly enough, she says that she was his wife. They embrace but unfortunately for them, Victoria has seen the whole thing and isn’t happy. She refuses to let them in the tower. Victoria tells Commander Sally that they are not a good team anymore. Sally activates a drone and it kills Victoria. Some fighting ensues, Sally wants Jack to come back to the Tet with Julia but they take off in his ship. They crash in the radiation area and find an exact clone of Jack. Jack fights the clone, has more flashbacks and he knocks the clone out. Julia has been seriously wounded and they go to Tower 52 to get medical help. Jack pretends he is Tech 52 when he sees a clone of Victoria.
Jack and Julia return back to Malcolm to find out the bitter truth: “Tet” is an alien artificial intelligence that had earth under its control and stripped the planet’s resources away and that Jack and Victoria are just thousands of clones of their original human selves (who were astronauts). They were created to invade the Earth. “Tet” used drones to kill humans. The “Tet” uses clones of Jack and Victoria to maintain the other drones. Jack agrees to reprogram the stolen drone so it will be able to destroy the Tet. However, as they leave the underground fortress, they are attacked and chaos ensues. Malcolm is wounded but the three of them manage to take care of the drones. Jack suggests bringing the bomb, with Julia going along. While flying, they listen to the Odyssey’s flight recorder and find out that he and Victoria were pilots on the research mission to Titan. This mission was reassigned by NASA once they discovered the “Tet” near Saturn. Sally was the original supervisor at NASA’s mission control and other people, including Julia, were all on board in a state of cryogenic sleep. While approaching the Tet, they were brought in by a tractor beam and the danger was pretty transparent: Jack knew they were going to be captured, so he ejected all the sleeping crew – who were in that state for 60 years until Malcolm sent the signal to retrieve their space craft.
Jack enters the “Tet” and opens the sleep capsules to reveal both Malcolm – while Julia awakens from her sleeping capsule in the hidden lake house. Jack and Malcolm trigger the bomb, dying in the process, but destroying the “Tet” and all the drones around the world.
A few years later, Julia is with a little girl (her daughter) in the lake house that was sheltered by the forest. A group of human survivors arrive and Tech 52 is shown in the group. A narrative states that his prior encounter had released memories of Julia and he had looked for her since the Tet’s demise. He then reunites with Julia and their daughter.
To be honest, I found the movie overly long and it really didn’t peak my interest. I have always enjoyed Morgan Freeman as an actor but I kind of wonder why he chose to star in this movie. I think we’ve all ‘been there and done that’ with the world coming to an end and alien invasion movies, so my honest opinion of this movie is to skip over it.
But, if you are a sci-fi or Tom Cruise fan then by all means find it on HBOGo or across the channels and take yet another possible look at our future.