Anyhow Simon Pegg teamed up with Nick Frost and Edgar Wright once again on the World’s End. What can I tell you? It looks awesome and it also stars Martin Freeman? Also I totes would love to this particular pub crawl. However (and unfortunately) the only semi-survival skill I possess is locating the nearest bathroom.
The World’s End premieres on July 19th in the UK and August 23rd in the US.
Oblivion is a love story hidden within a Science Fiction blockbuster. It’s covered with layers of CGI action scenes, cumbersome opening narration and broad characterizations but it’s there all right.
The film is set on Earth decades after an alien army blew up the Moon. This started a series of natural disasters that somehow turned whole cities into dirt-covered canyons with an occasional famous landmark protruding from the wasteland. While mankind is building itself a new home elsewhere, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) guards huge hydro pumps turning Earth’s oceans into fusion fuel and maintains robotic drones protecting them against the remains of alien ground forces. We know Harper is a good guy because he enjoys football and fixes sophisticated technology with a chewing gum. We dislike his wife and partner Vicky (Andrea Riseborough) because she’s a stuck-up Englishwoman.
One day, they discover something that makes them doubt everything they know. These scenes – set in Jack and Vicky’s eerily clean penthouse – reminded me of SF stories by Phillip K. Dick who often wrote about characters faced with evidence that challenges their entire reality. But this great moment passes and, all too soon, it’s back to CGI action.
To talk more about Oblivion‘s plot would mean going into a spoiler territory, although these days even the plot twists aren’t meant to be taken seriously, what with the trailers regularly retelling entire films. I congratulated myself for figuring out Oblivion in the first half hour or so but then a suspicion crept in: what if these twists aren’t even meant to be cunning? What if they’re simply the kind of plot twists Hollywood expects their audience to expect. Let’s surprise the audience but… just not surprise surprise them.
Jack learns new things about himself and his world. By the time it ends, Oblivion is not anymore about CGI action scenes and broad characterizations. It’s about mortality and love and tiny shred of hope left in a devastated and barren world. The ending is surprisingly somber. Depending on your cynicism, you might see it either as poignantly bittersweet or as cynical cop-out. I myself am still somewhat undecided between these two.
While we were leaving the theater, I saw one girl wiping away the tears, still shaken from the film’s ending. I wasn’t all that fond of Oblivion but I guess it does something right if it managed to provide its audience with both the excitement and the emotions.
I feel obliged to plug anything coming out of Norfolk.
Down below is the trailer for Alpha Papa, featuring Steve Coogan’s most famous character Alan Partridge. The movie will be released in the UK on August 16th and it has been shot entirely in Norfolk. Yay for that!