Oblivion

By 2077, the Earth has seen better days. The moon is even worse off, though, since it's mostly gone, destroyed by mysterious aliens called Scavengers, or Scavs. According to my research, this lack of moon means that the Earth is now prone to wobbling wildly on its axis, the weather would be even more insanely unpredictable, and the tides would be about half what they are now. That last part doesn't matter as much as you might think, since at the moment the only thing anybody wants from the oceans is to drain them dry. A bunch of big machines called hydro rigs are hovering over the water, scooping it all up to collect the hydrogen for energy.

And then there's Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher), here playing Jack Harper, Tech 49. He flies around in a little bubble helicopter thing and fixes drones all day, then comes home to Andrea Riseborough as Victoria every night. She's his communications officer / guardian and they live in Tower 49. I thought at first that it hovered, too, but it's really an amazingly tall tower, thousands of feet high, and yet for some reason they can walk around their outside balcony without the wind flinging them off and dashing them to pieces on the ground. There are several such plot holes here, though it's certainly possible not to think about them much and just enjoy the flick.

Melissa Leo of Olympus Has Fallen plays Sally, Jack and Victoria's contact at Control. Sally has a southern accent and every day asks them, cheerily, how they are this fine mornin', and if they're still an effective team. That would drive me crazy. But the drones need looking after so that they can look after the hydro rigs, and anyway Jack and Victoria only have two more weeks of this work to go, and then they can head up to Titan, where the rest of the human race is now living.

Except Jack isn't quite content with the setup, and he isn't sure why. He half-remembers a woman who isn't Victoria and the Earth before it was destroyed, which he shouldn't be old enough to recall. He does his job and wonders, but never quite gets anywhere with searching his memory for more clues.

Then a spaceship crashes -- a NASA ship. The drones go nuts and break everything that isn't broken already, but there's still one survivor: Julia, played by Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace. And you can predict this even if you haven't seen the previews -- she looks an awful lot like the woman from Jack's vague memories, if memories are indeed what they are.

Then Morgan Freeman (also of Olympus Has Fallen, though he and Sally aren't exactly on the same side here) shows up and things get even weirder. Also, Jack dodges lightning bolts, though that's really just another plot hole rather than an example of weirdness... though admittedly it's an odd sort of plot mistake to make. I can't really get more specific after this point, because that would give too much away, and despite the script having as many holes as Jack's memory, there are some entertaining twists. And somewhat to my surprise, I actually liked Tom Cruise in the part, probably because he wasn't trying to be such a tough guy all the time.

Anyway, I think I'll go with three out of five. It was entertaining, which is the main thing you want in a movie, and as sometimes happens it ended up being kind of fun finding all the mistakes. That probably isn't exactly the sort of entertainment the scriptwriters were going for, but whatever works. Oh, and if you're curious, the poem that Jack reads is called Horatius, by Thomas B. Macaulay, and can be found in a book called The Lays of Ancient Rome. Your MCND literary trivia.

Image: 
Jack and drone 166 face off. Those drones will kill you as soon as look at you.

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