Welcome to Double Features, my monthly column dedicated to reviewing a current theatrical release in tandem with a similar classic movie available on DVD. April finds me wondering if Oblivion, Tom Cruise’s new sci-fi effort, shares some DNA with Silent Running, a 1972 cult item that also features a lone astronaut going rogue to protect Earth’s diminishing natural resources from a destructive enemy.
The starkest contrast between Silent Running and Oblivion is that Cruise is less preoccupied with rescuing the planet’s ravaged flora and fauna than piecing together his former identity. It’s a self-obsessed journey told largely in cryptic exchanges with coy characters like Morgan Freeman. The mystery unfolds in your head, but never your heart. And once this stooge has finally figured out he’s supposed to be acting like Tom Cruise in a big-budget Hollywood fantasy, many will have grown impatient for some explosions and requisite action.
"Oblivion" is set in the year 2077, 60 years after an alien invasion rendered the Earth largely uninhabitable. Cruise stars as Jack Harper, one of a handful of people left on the planet. The other survivors have long since relocated to Titan. Harper and colleagues remain as technicians, servicing robot drones that defend resource-gathering stations from alien stragglers.
At best, Silent Running and Oblivion are gentle genre exercises I can only MILDLY RECOMMEND to hardcore science fiction fans thirsting for simple, self-contained stories. Their appeal lies primarily in their visuals. This is a Double Feature that’s easily wiped from the mind, clones of more iconic movies.
"Possesses colossal power, but reduces max MP by 1."
|Crit Rate||Crit Bonus|
+2[KH I FM]
|Chest in the Grand Hall.|