By Taylor Finke
Staff reporter

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to ‘Oblivion’. I initially passed it off as just another film where Tom Cruise plays the same character he always does. But instead, ‘Oblivion’ kept me guessing the entire time. This is truly a sci-fi/action movie with plenty of brain to balance out the brawn.

Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, one of the last humans left on Earth, who lives in the bleak stretch of wilderness that was New York City, 60 years after the with the alien race known as the Scavengers. The Scavs destroyed the moon, causing natural disasters to demolish civilization as we know it. His job is to repair the drones that protect the facilities harvesting the last of Earth’s natural resources for the human colony on the Tet, a space station orbiting the Earth.

Jack’s job includes patrolling the skies and fixing any downed drones before the remaining Scavs can steal parts. Unlike his partner, who is charged with communications, he is curious about life before the war. However, he is haunted by dreams of the world before the war and a beautiful woman he has never seen… until one night he rescues her from a downed spacecraft and his world is turned upside down.

‘Oblivion’ kept me on the edge of the seat nearly the entire time. It started out a little slow, but it was necessary to help the audience come to terms with where the movie started at. Overall, the plot was neat and engaging, with plenty of twists to keep it intriguing.  Tom Cruise definitely helped carry the film. While Jack Harper did share traits with Cruise’s other roles (a certain disregard for rules, especially), he was curious, and collected old Earth things in a way reminiscent of WALL-E. I thought he was immediately likable, and was well-cast.

Andrea Riseborough was also well-cast and believable as Jack’s partner, the sad and conflicted Victoria. Morgan Freeman also makes an appearance, but he simply reprises his usual role for his brief amount of screen time. The rest of the cast didn’t make much of an impression.

The animation helped make ‘Oblivion’ a realistic piece of dystopian fiction. The movie is CGI-heavy, but all of it is top quality and beautiful.  It was cool being able to spot the remnants of different landmarks being overtaken by nature.  The drones, for looking so ungainly, freaked me out more than the grotesque Scavs.

For all the crazy effects and sci-fi heavy portions of the movie, ‘Oblivion’ seemed to focus more on questions of humanity, morality and love. The love story aspect of the movie didn’t detract from the plot at all, and helped Jack discover that his life is a lie.

Overall, I highly recommend ‘Oblivion’. It has it all; wonderful effects, twisty plot, creepy robots and an interesting love story. It is a fun ride all the way through.

Taylor Finke is a freshman. You may email her at taylor.finke@sckans.edu