Oblivion - DVD Review

'a film not just with ideas but also with the pace to get through them'

Is the power of Tom Cruise waning? The final answer to that question might not lie in Oblivion, but Joseph Kosinski's film's failure to turn a big opening US weekend from its $120 million budget may well spell an ill-wind for original, likely-one off, Science Fiction films. A dying breed possibly, whether fronted by the famously miniature actor or not.

If the Hollywood bigwigs are finally scared off the genre then that will of course be a shame, at least partially because this is one of Cruise's better recent efforts. Kosinski's film has been justifiably singled out as drawing in influence from almost every major Science-Fiction film of the last few years, but it's what it doesn't draw from other Cruise efforts that also makes it noticeable.

Cruise gets one moment of grandstanding and one moment only, Jack (Cruise) recounting an amazing football game he wasn't there to witness. Outside of that, Kosinski and his film get on with things and get on with them quickly. This is a film not just with ideas but also with the pace to get through them. It barely feels like we've been going any time at all before Jack is meeting with a shadowy figure underground which forces him to reassess what he believes in.

What the film believes in, other than being a gentle nod in the direction of some great Science-Fiction films, seems to be related to typical questions films of the last five-to-ten years have started to raise around war. Whether one should believe the portrayal given by superiors (and to an extent, media) comes into it often, as Jack starts by telling us in his opening narration 'but we won the war', despite the huge evidence of the cost littered around him.

Destiny - that old chestnut - too, is clearly here, from the moment Jack starts quoting a Thomas Babington Macaulay poem, found in the ruins of the old world. What's in store for Jack from that moment onwards is pretty clear, Kosinski perhaps playfully suggesting that though you may be able to change who's in charge, the outcome may well be inevitable.

Oblivion is out on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Monday 19th August.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.


  1. Unfortunately, I feel like Prometheus pre-ruined this movie. The inexplicable trailers, the mysterious nature of the subject matter, and the fact that it seems to be an alien movie rather than a sci-fi film were a little too akin to the letdown that was Prometheus. I thought that the trailer for this one was lackluster, but after reading your review, maybe I'll have to Redbox it and see for myself..

    1. Definitely agree on the promotion but I was pleasantly surprised. Have you seen Moon? Think of it as a mainstream, big budget remake of that and you're somewhere close in some ways. Only two characters for huge stretches. Really enjoyed it.