The Earth has been destroyed by war with aliens and the remaining patches of humanity are collecting resources before leaving to colonise Titan. The survivors have had their memories wiped to defend against enemy capture, but Jack dreams of impossible things. When a pre-war pod crashes and he finds his dreams may have been memories, he starts down a road which will make him question everything he thinks he knows.

Oblivion (2013) – Director: Joseph Kosinski

Is Oblivion appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 126 mins

Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman

Genre: Science Fiction, Drama

REVIEW

Oblivion‘ is science fiction through and through. The opening consists of large panoramic shots of a gorgeous scale. The look and feel of the desolated Earth is almost a character in itself. Vast wastelands and radiation zones spill out as far as the camera can see; yet Cruise’s character, Jack, manages to find destroyed reminders of humanity’s previous glories. As with all great science fiction, there is a great sense of reality to the technology involved. Jack’s flying craft churns and splutters; transporting him speedily to the next broken down drone that requires his attention. There is a real sense of loneliness; of abandonment. Humanity is fleeing the ruined Earth and Jack is just keeping the protection drones ticking over, rueing the impending day when Earth will be a distant memory.

Oblivion’ does suffer a little from a slow start and the relationship between Jack and his lover, Victoria (played by Andrea Riseborough) is a tad stilted. Although it is clear that Jack is supposed to be feeling a sense of something being wrong, it is somewhat of a shame that ‘Oblivion’ would rather show this by flinging him to yet another open wasteland rather than through some claustrophobic tension with the only other human he knows. Also the soundtrack seems to hit rather the wrong tone in ‘Oblivion’. It struts to centre stage and blasts out clear instructions such as ‘THIS IS AN EPIC SHOT’ or ‘THIS IS A CLIMACTIC MOMENT’ when perhaps a bit more subtlety would have better installed a sense of unease into proceedings.

However these are minor niggles and overall ‘Oblivion’ is a sumptuous looking experience, even if it does feel like it missed a trick by never really throwing its characters into any sort of personality conflict. It may not do anything particularly new but with strong performances from Cruise, Riseborough and Kurylenko (playing, as Julia, the needle in Jack’s otherwise ordered life) and with a sense of scale worthy of its end-of-days plot, ‘Oblivion’ takes an already well-worn set of ideas and polishes them to a brilliant shine.

IS ‘OBLIVION’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

Although ‘Oblivion’ is mostly appropriate for kids, we highlight below some moments that you may wish to consider when thinking about taking under 12s to see this film.

After the initial voiceover, Jack wakes up in bed next to Victoria. They are dressed for bed but it is clear their relationship is a romantic one. They shower together and the camera cuts them both off at the waist, with Jack facing forwards and Victoria with her back to the camera. Later, after a meal, Victoria steps outside and stands by the swimming pool. She undresses and although the camera is a bit further away and the lighting is subdued, this is a full length naked shot where Victoria’s behind is visible. She swims naked through the (glass walled) swimming pool and drags in Jack, pulling his shirt off. Although the camera ensures that her exposed chest is never fully seen, Jack and Victoria caress and the camera pans away, with the clear implication that they are about to be intimate.

‘Scavers’  are scavengers attacking the human installations. When we see them they are wearing dark, armour-type clothing with helmets and masks. Although at first these are only glimpses, we later see them more close up. The masks are intimidating and angry-looking, but this is only likely to potentially bother very small children and is very mild. That said, in one scene where Jack finds himself stuck in a ‘sink hole’ we see the head of one of the Scavers roll on the floor and towards shot. The head is still enclosed in a helmet and mask so no expression or gore is seen.

Jack comes across a crash site wherein there are some unconscious survivors. However, these people are attacked and killed, in one instance resulting in a fireball explosion. The others are all killed off camera. There is no gore or blood and as we are never introduced to these characters, the emotional impact is minimal. In other scenes two characters are shot, leading them to be injured. Blood soaks through each character’s clothing but otherwise we do not see the wounds and this isn’t too graphic. Later there are characters getting shot with heavy powered laser guns. The resulting special effect is that the person quickly turns to an ash like substance which scatters. This happens in one key moment unexpectedly, with Jack being thrown across the room due to a shockwave. Jack is upset and astonished although his grief lasts around 4 minutes and isn’t too strong. Later in a tense action sequence many more characters die this way although again, this is in the middle of a battle and the characters who get killed are incidental. We do see some women and children before this attack starts although there are no shots of them actually being killed.

There is also a smattering of moderate swearing in ‘Oblivion’. For the most part this is spaced out and not too strong, although at the end of the movie, a strong swear word is used in the final climactic scene. There is also one instance of mild blasphemy in that Jack exclaims ‘goddamn’.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Whilst there is not too much content which  is inappropriate for older children, it is not a film that is aimed at kids or teenagers; ‘Oblivion’ is made for an adult audience. It is a little slow to start and although the set pieces are enormously entertaining, it is unlikely to be of much interest to children under 10. We therefore recommend that ‘Oblivion’ should be suitable for children aged 10 and above, bearing in mind that there is one strong curse word and some moderate nudity.

  • Violence:  1/5 (characters killed by heavy-duty laser fire immediately, but not graphically, disintegrate. Jack gets into a fist fight at one point )
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (Jack mourns briefly on one occasion and the direction lingers on shots to enhance the effect)
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 2/5       
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (several uses of moderate cursing, one strong use at the end of the film)
  • Dialogue: 1/5 (some emotional recalling of past events) 
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of duty, sacrifice, disconnection and finding a place in life.

Words by Mike Record

 

Oblivion [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013]


New From: £2.59 GBP In Stock

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