MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylendo. Sci/fi action. Written by Joseph Kosinski and Karl Gajdusek. Directed by Joseph Kosinski

FILM SYNOPSIS: In this sci-fi thriller, from an unpublished graphic novel, an ex-Marine assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. Earth has been devastated after an attack by aliens, which has left our little planet to resembling the apocalyptic emptiness of Mad Max’s future world. The battles had destroyed most of our moon, plunging Earth into chaos with its destructive forces of nature. We won, but were left with little to show for it. Or, as the protagonist soon questions, did we win?

PREVIEW REVIEW: Borrowing themes freely from other space-aged actioneers, Oblivion has nearly as many clichés as action sequences. Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) pays “homage” to the likes of Total Recall (dealing with the loss of identity) and Silent Running (one man in space protecting the last of Earth’s vegetation) in telling his bleak story of survival amidst lost dreams. Alas, style once again trumps substance, as the look and CGI trickery obliterates character and story development.

If you should attend, pay attention to the background score. Don’t worry; you won’t be able to miss the pounding of the snare drums throughout each action sequence. Truly the hardest working fellow on the film – the drummer. This guy must have biceps like Vin Diesel.

A lot of work went into this film and the action results should be pleasing to many adolescent sci-fi action hounds, but ultimately, I found the story as cold and bleak as a starless night. And I think everyone will begin to squirm through the excessive narration/exposition, some cornball dialogue, and even cornier happy ending.

Still, it’s a popcorn-munching movie outing, full of eye-captivating visuals and acts of derring-do. And one must give credit to the star presence of Tom Cruise, whose charisma substitutes for a lacking narrative.

DVD Alternative: Forbidden Planet. Space explorers land on a planet dominated by one man and an unknown, deadly force. Campy and entertaining, this ‘50s sci/fi flick is still fun and it contains two lines showing a belief in and respect for God.

Star Wars. The story begins with the sinister black figure of Darth Vader capturing Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), leader of a rebel alliance battling a great but evil empire. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 10 obscenities; the lead had his mind “swept” so he has no recollection of his past, but he still remembers how to curse.

Profanity: Two profane uses of God’s name, one by each of the two leads.

Violence: Star Wars-type blastings and blowups throughout; beatings and killings.

Sex: The lead couple sleep together, and we see them frolic in a pool.

Nudity: Female backside nudity as a woman skinny dips.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Yet again, we get to see an actor vomit on screen; she pukes up right into our faces.

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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