Eventually, every single one of these A-List Scientology dudes winds up pursuing the same type of intergalactic, post-apocalyptic, megalomaniacal bullshit. John Travolta did so via Battlefield Earth, Tom Cruise is doing so via Oblivion, and – not to be outdone – Will Smith will do just about the very same a little over a month from now, when After Earthhits theaters nationwide. I mean, how many times can someone actually go to that well without realizing it’s absolutely dry as a bone?
By IMDb‘s count, Morgan Freeman has played God twice, the President of The United States once, and various other government officials several times along the way. Oddly enough, the majority of these characters have represented Freeman’s least memorable roles. With that in mind, I have very little interest in seeing him portray the futuristic leader of some underground resistance in the year 2077.
Oblivion was directed by Joseph Kosinski, a sci-fi writer whose only other directing credit is Tron: Legacy.
Oblivion was directed by Joseph Kosinski, a sci-fi writer whose only future directing credit is a sequel to Tron: Legacy.
Tom Cruise is a fantastic actor with remarkable screen presence. I have cheered for Cruise in no less than 27 major film roles. 27! I mean, think about that for a second. The reality is, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia alone would’ve been enough to cement Cruise’s legacy. And yet, what comes along with doing 1.5 big-budget films per year is a very obvious clunker every now and again (Here’s lookin’ at you, Knight and Day). Whenever this type of phenomenon occurs, I simply ignore and proceed, in much the same way Mr. Cruise has for the past three decades running.
Cruise is wearing the exact same turtleneck during this interview that he was during this one. I find the obvious parallels unsettling.
I’d much rather use the two hours I’d spend on this movie watching Taps or The Outsiders, if for no better reason than to remind myself what it was I really dug about Tom Cruise way back when.
Here is the opening line from Manohla Davis’s review of Oblivion from today’s New York Times: “If only it were less easy to laugh at Oblivion, a lackluster science-fiction adventure with Tom Cruise that, even before its opening, was groaning under the weight of its hard-working, slowly fading star and a title that invites mockery of him and it both.” Kind of says it all, no?
If it turns out I’m wrong and Oblivion is actually a good movie, I’ll simply go see the Will Smith version of it at some point during early June.
(Oblivion arrives in theaters nationwide this Friday.)