Review roundup - Hollow earth

OBLIVION (2013)

Hm... where to even start? The lack of enthusiasm I had for this movie all round? You get M83 to do a score, you get Andree Wallin to create some concepts, and build up from your work on Tron Legacy... good plan right? Apparently not. I mean Tron had a lot going for it but kind of hit that middle ground between thriller and hollow spectacle. This is even more detached from being an involving drama than CLU's disco world, which had more entertainment value.

There's a lot of things here I wanted to like here, the slick visuals, the threat of unknown creatures, the people stuck on a wasted planet - but they all fall flat. It's so devoid of any kind of hook and though the premise is not original, the setup should have had more potential than this. I just couldn't care less.



Desolated in a war with aliens, the planet has been evacuated despite our apparent victory. Small clean up crews maintain the equipment being used to transport the last of Earth's energy to a new space colony. But the surviving invaders are still hiding out in the shadows sabotaging the effort, and our protagonist has dreams about people he has never met. Or has he? What is the connection? And who cares? Maybe it's because the director wanted to use material he wrote himself, or perhaps it's the robotic performances from everyone involved. I don't know, but the story is told in such a bland way and it doesn't help - monotone narration should be banned as a movie device. The story just seems to be told in a ineffective way.

It's weird because this is relevant to my interests, and the 70s sci-fi homage idea is to be encouraged. The way it plays out just kind of sucks all the atmosphere away though; considering it's got a desolate, abandoned Earth to work with makes it kind of mystifying. The landscapes drip atmosphere, creepy under dwellers lurk in the shadows, twitchy drones threaten to shoot on sight - there should have been a better use for this material. There are a handful of moments where it starts to pick up but they are too few to have a lasting effect because the characters that are as grey as the wasteland. Zero charisma. 

2/5