Oblivion is the second feature film by director Joseph Kosinski, the man responsible for directing Tron Legacy. Because there is little research I can do on Kosinski (and because this time around he is also a writer and director) I am going to base all of my predictions on what I gleaned from Tron, which is possibly one of the best looking and most light-hearted movies about genocide.
Oblivion will be a movie that is absolutely fantastic in both the visuals and the audio. Kosinski showed in Tron that he does not stand for a sub-par theatre experience of the senses. However and unfortunately, he also showed that story and originality are aspects that are not as much of a concern. Kosinski seemed to be quite influenced in a few scenes by Chrisopher Nolan's version of batman, The Matrix, and Star Wars. I think there will be some scenes in Oblivion that feel really borrowed from other movies, but not flat out thievery. Perhaps I should amend that last statement... there were lightsabres in Tron, so highway robbery is not something that should be taken off of the table.
I think the theatre experience of Oblivion will be well worth the money spent on the ticket, but there will be moments of confusion with what the characters do and the script will most likely break under any scrutiny. There will probably be some slo-mo 'epic scenes' and I am predicting we will get our fair share of characters staring out over the expanse (something that he liked to do in Tron).Cruise will act in a way that leaves nothing behind, as is his style. Regardless of anything thoughts people may have of him as person, he is an actor that earns every cent of his paycheck and gives it all. Opposite him, Morgan Freeman will look captivating, talk captivating, and walk in a captivating style... as is his style. The visuals and the performances will keep the movie spectacular on the surface, and, if one is bold enough to look underneath the surface, it will most likely be a disappointment.
Oblivion is going to be a visually epic film with some jaw dropping special effects. The cinematography and sets will be captivating and stunning. It is this visual element that will create the tone for the film. I'll get fully immersed into this world and believe it is a real place. The compelling atmosphere will hook me and at least make the first half of the film engaging.
After I've surrendered myself to this new world, there is going to be a mystery that will keep me transfixed on the narrative. There appears to be an intriguing -- almost Phillip K. Dick style sci-fi story -- about the "government" hiding secret survivors. The performances by Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman will help elevate this narrative and keep my intrigue strong. I'm expecting a first hour that is going to plunge me into the conspiracy and have me invested in the characters.
There will be a twist. The quality and execution of the twist will determine how much I stay engaged in the second half of the picture. If the film tries to make some bold moves then I'll be willing to forgive a lot. If the film resorts to just being loud and explosive then I'll probably mentally check out. This wants to be a smart piece of sci-fi.
The best sci-fi typically has a message about current social and political issues. It also is usually one of the best ways to explore humanity. This is a film that will aim to be like other modern sci-fi masterpieces like Minority Report and Looper. I'm not sure if it will have the depth or the smarts of those films. But Tom Cruise has been raving about this picture, and I think it will have a few of the elements that made those films great.
It will likely be a film that will try to distract you with the great special effects and sometimes require you to turn off your brain. The plot may have holes and it may not be the tightest script, but great performances, mind blowing visuals and a fantastic atmosphere may be enough to distract and make me ignore the flaws. I'm expecting a fun experience with a few memorable scenes.
Plus Tom Cruise will run. He must run. All will be forgiven if he runs to save the world.