Oblivion is a dumbed down, dumb action movie with a incredibly prominent and out of place romance plot. The filmmakers realized that if people were told that the movie was a poorly done, poorly paced action movie intercut with a mildly interesting love story, they would have no target audience, since most women interested in romance movies would be bored during the ball numbing action scenes, and that their female lead never showed her breasts. With both genders bored by 50% of this movie, they decided to make Oblivion in to a sci-fi film for no reason other than to say that it was something deep.
Unfortunately, the writers, directors, actors, producers, and everyone except the sound designers didn't realize that a science fiction movie is required to make sense in order to be good. While most people, including me, can forgive small errors in a movie - such as the fact that a supercomputer such as HAL 9000 would require massive amounts of power and generate tremendous heat - the majority of the plot has to actually be not back-ass fucking stupid.
Oblivion is one of those movies that break down as soon as you leave the theater. During the movie I was at least distracted from the irritating flaws because the sound design was actually really well done - though most soundtracks were ripped from Mass Effect - but once I left the theater and returned to the real world, I immediately picked up on all the gaping logical flaws. I will list them after a brief description of the plot. Spoilers. Don't say I didn't warn you. Also, spoilers regarding the movie Moon which you should go watch instead of this.
What's the plot?
Oblivion takes place on Earth after the invasion of a supposed alien race. It follows the story of two people who are clearly brainwashed by an evil space pyramid that sends them orders to repair drones. The fact that they are brainwashed becomes evident within 15 minutes of the movie playing, since I have more than 1 functioning braincell and was not drunk during this movie.
Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher. Wait, no. Harper. Whatever. Jack and the Bean Stalk Slayer is a repairman. He has a plane and an Elvis bobble head in his plane even though he never listens to Elvis. He discovers that not everything on the planet is as it seems when a bunch of humans crash on the surface and the clearly evil drones start killing them. He saves his old wife because she is a pretty white lady. Also I guess he loves her. Morgan Freeman is the only black person to survive in the grim darkness of the future. Its all white people.
Anyway, he gets captured by Morgan Freeman who tells him to reprogram a drone to send a nuclear bomb up in to the evil pyramid. Rather than clearly explaining the fact that the pyramid is evil, he says that Tom Cruise must go out in to the desert to figure out why the pyramid is evil. This is stupid for many reasons, mostly because Tom Cruise's fictional wife, the one who didn't divorce him, has a flight record which contains damning evidence relating to the evil space pyramid. This whole movie could have been resolved in 45 minutes.
Tom Cruise realizes everything is shit and then discovers that he is in fact a clone, one of many clones of himself which are grown by the space pyramid and replaced when they die. This is where the movie reveals that the filmmakers also saw Moon and thought that having a repairman who is cloned and had a memory wipe because of it was a cool plot. From then on the movie becomes a gigantic farce. The evil pyramid decides to check out the secret human base for no reason and somehow the nearly indestructible drone they have programmed to send the nuke is destroyed in the process. But the nuke is safe.
Tom Cruise then decides to fly up in to the pyramid himself and plants the nuclear bomb in the center of the ship, where the film rips off 2001 in more shots than I can count. Also the space pyramid is revealed to be tooled entirely to cloning Tom Cruise. Which is stupid. Its otherwise mostly empty. Because...uh. They wanted it to be big. Then he blows it up, and his wife is so sad she has a baby. Then the clone of Tom Cruise finds the wife rendering his character's sacrifice meaningless since an identical Tom Cruise with identical memories can just take over his life every time he dies, meaning that no amount of bravery is actually brave, since there are no real consequences to death.
Wut. Okay, what are these plot holes?
1. Tom Cruise is an astronaut. Being an astronaut takes a lot of work and is very specialized training. You can pretty much train to be an astronaut and maybe like an amateur cook. You cannot train to be an astronaut and a special forces agent. Tom Cruise's character was apparently also a super soldier, and an astronaut with enough of a personal life to meet another astronaut in casual clothes in the middle of New York, fall in love, and propose marriage. I guess people working to fly in space have plenty of free time.
2. If Tom Cruise is in fact a super genius and a super strong super man, then he should be able to figure out that the evil pyramid is clearly wiping his memories for no reason, because that is obvious to anyone with a brain. But he doesn't because then the movie would be over.
3. The gigantic floating space pyramid somehow knows enough about human biology to successfully clone humans without causing massive genetic problems or decay of any kind, since they appear to be perfect clones. The pyramid also knows how to implant memories in to the infinitely complex human brain with basically no flaws at all.
4. The drones are somehow able to track Tom Cruises biotrail in a dusty, windy environment hours after he passed by. They can do this because I guess drones are magic.
5. At one point Tom Cruise shoots a drone through its eye camera while flying a plane at mach 2, despite the fact that it is physically impossible for that to happen in even the most unlikely way, because at mach 2 the distance he would need to lead the bullet by would be hundreds of feet in front of the drone. Also apparently the camera is directly connected to the brain, which should be housed in a super armored core.
6. There is a swimming pool in the outside of Tom Cruise's space house, which has a see through bottom made of either glass or plastic. Given that this house is on a mountain with high wind speeds, at some point the stress of a constant moving house would have damaged the swimming pool, probably causing it to leak. This swimming pool should also not be located above a 2000 foot drop since it would cause panic attacks in any reasonable human.
7. Jaime Lannister is in this film. Yes, that's a plot hole.
8. Drones have engines powerful enough that they can move, stop, make 90 degree turns in fractions of a second. Yet these engines appear to only be at the back, which would only allow for normal flight movement, not TRON movement.
9. Nobody in the future found an RPG-7, despite the fact that even super space drones would probably be fucked if everyone hit them with rockets. Instead people use bullets, a much less efficient form of combat.
10. One of the central parts of the plot is that the moon was "destroyed." This caused tidal waves and earthquakes and shit. Now, I'm no expert, but the image that they show is a moon missing a large chunk of it, but the chunk is floating right in front of the moon. I'm fairly certain that the chunk would be pulled back in to the moon because of gravity, and that the actual loss of mass is negligible because the moon is sort of huge. Even if like...Australian sized pieces were blown off, it'd still just be a tiny bit of the moon. Its not like the whole moon disappeared.
11. The evil pyramid is only there to convert the entire ocean in to fuel, meaning that this movie also rips off Battlefield: Los Angeles for some reason. A better source of power would be the vast quantities of nukes that the humans launched after they realized that shit was going down. There is an interesting movie idea in an alien species who goes around provoking nuclear civilizations in to firing on them, just so they can harvest the missiles for fuel. That is a much more interesting movie than Oblivion.
12. Somehow the evil space pyramid has the raw materials to produce both ocean converting factories and thousands of clones, drones, and the supplies needed to run all of this bullshit. These are raw materials needed on a planetary scale.
13. The pyramid is there to suck up the ocean to turn it in to energy. How come it doesn't just use solar panels? Its big enough that it'd actually probably work better. Or what if it turned an unpopulated world in to energy? Or like an ice moon? Or Neptune? Gaseous planets have a lot of fuel. Why oceans on a populated planet that can resist? Why? Who cares?
14. If the evil space pyramid has massive numbers of hyperadvanced drones, why bother making clones of a human that could one day turn on the pyramid and destroy it? why not just send down drones and murder everyone's face? Then just take the ocean water. Because everyone is dead.
15. Tom Cruise tells his space wife that Titan is the largest moon of Saturn when he knows she's an astronaut.
16. The final confrontation between Tom Cruise and the evil pyramid finished in two lines. First the evil space pyramid, PYR9000 says "I created you. I am your god!" Then Tom Cruise says "Fuck you Sally." This is not only incredibly stupid, but also brings up weird questions about the space pyramid. How does the space pyramid have the concept of what a god is? God is not a universal concept, ants don't think of god, its really just a human thing because we tend to think that way, whether or not its true.
A giant computer that can just create everything wouldn't really have a concept of a god because it'd never have a want. Religion rose out of the need for order in a relatively chaotic world, or at least the belief in the divine of any nature did. When you're a super computer that hasn't actually visited earth before, the concept of an all powerful being who is perfectly ordered would be foreign to you as a creature of worship.
Really the space pyramid should've asked what a god was, because it wouldn't have known. Actually, how does it know how to speak English? It's encountered two humans in person, ever. I guess it learned from television. Or something stupid.
17. Tom Cruise manages to save his space wife from a bullet that magically appeared in her torso using a medical spray and a magnet.
18. The giant space pyramid repurposes its entire inner sanctum - the place where the central evil alien LIVES - to a clone growing facility. Does it do this for every single planet it goes on? Every single time? That's massively inefficient. Also why would you want to look at that? No wonder its so evil. Just get it like a poster or something. I've got some spare posters, it can have them.
19. Somehow in the course of 60 years the radiation from nuclear war has totally cleared up with no consequences for anyone. This is after total nuclear war, which would have also destroyed nuclear power plants causing widespread radiation. Somehow this radiation didn't interfere with communications at all, despite the fact that a small gorge will stop radio contact.
20. Nobody has cell phones.
21. At no point in the pyramid's history did any species reprogram a nuke to destroy it. Ever. Only humans. Why? Because. Shut up.
22. There is no reason for Tom Cruise to love his space wife because they've been separated for so long. His space wife was separated for relatively no time at all since she was in stasis. When she first sees her husband, she acts surprised, when really she should have thought it was normal, since to her no time has passed.
23. Tom Cruise brings Morgan Freeman aboard the evil space pyramid to blow it up. Morgan Freeman is the leader of the surviving humans, and seems to be effective and well liked. There is no reason why he should be up there, since he would have made for a better leader than anyone else.
24. There are still thousands of Tom Cruise clones to clean up after, who now have no food or water and all secretly love Tom Cruise's space wife. There's at least 52 of them.
25. I can't get over how stupid that eye shot was, holy god.
26. The theater I was in smelled like pee. I know this probably wasn't the movie's fault, but still. Pee.
EDIT: 27. This film cost 120,000,000 dollars to make, yet they couldn't hire a decent screenwriter.
I know. This isn't really nitpicking either. These are big issues with the movie because they're just these gaping logical flaws in the narrative which break my suspension of disbelief immediately.
If this was a worse film, where it was a cheesy, hokey mess of dumb ass bullshit, then I wouldn't care. If it was just an action movie, then no, I don't care if the plot makes sense, so long as the plot takes me where the action goes and doesn't not make sense. Oblivion tries to sell itself as a serious film, and so its held to big boy standards. Sorry.
Also, maybe this was just the projector, but at one point the framerate on the film changes and it looks like shit. Maybe it was a filter change or maybe it was framerate, but it suddenly started looking awful. I'm going to blame that on the theater, but if anyone else sees it and notices the same thing towards the end of the movie, let me know.
No but seriously, this is just Moon with a bigger budget and way less quality.
Oblivion - Fucking dogshit.
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Come on people, make me hurt.