Oblivion (2013)

Appropriated Appropriateness

One measure of a science fiction movie is whether the science and fiction are coherent. I’ve been following the Hunger Games saga and this is driving me crazy. Some technology is advanced, some adopted from the sixties. In good hands, like with Nolan’s Interstellar, this could be used to advantage.

In that case, essential plot points depend on the limits or reach of technology. Because some is advanced and some not, I can’t understand the world. I can’t enter it. I know the series is popular with young girls, and I assume that is because the technology is invisible, the politics drive the world and what matters is teen love (and family).

Here, the writing and art direction get this bit right. Everything we popularly assume about tech is advanced a step and half. The story is silly. The actions of the characters are cartoonish but understandable. The climax is yet another flight into an orbiting alien vessel, the destruction of which saves the world.

And is has our smiling boy. But despite all this, it feels comfortable because we can fit ourselves in the world, in the movie.

The one exception is the radio. I get that what keeps this couple (the one we originally see) together, is engineered nostalgia. And that the woman in control and all her presentation, including the static is designed to evoke the old. But how is it that our Earthly minions can block the signal? How is it that alligator clips and the wrong sized antenna are able to control the decades old ship where our master race cannot?

Posted in 2015

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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