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Director: Joseph Kosinski
Good science fiction movies have always attempted to balance weighty and intelligent themes alongside amazing visuals and special effects. After directing “Tron: Legacy” – which was tremendous fun but rather throwaway in the ‘intelligence’ stakes – Joseph Kosinski tries to create a film that has echoes of the paranoid sci-fi films of the ’70s (such as “Soylent Green”) while having all the slam bang action that we associate with modern blockbusters.
Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a technician whose job it is to help facilitate the removal of the final natural resources from an alien invasion ravaged and now almost desolate and deserted Earth. In contact with his commanders on the Tet – a massive space station containing much of the rest of humanity – Harper hopes that he will soon be able to go to the moon of Titan where he will spend the rest of his time with his lover and co-worker Victoria. But when he discovers the wreckage of a crashed spaceship his life is turned upside when he rescues Julia (Olga Kurylenko) from the wreckage. The girl is familiar to Jack – who has had his mind wiped as part of his military service – and soon the discovery of a group of humans will bring back Jack’s past and the truth about Earth’s devastation.
This is an often striking film with the visuals of an abandoned Earth managing to be both epic and eerie at the same time. And, certainly, its ambition is laudable trying to bring a dark edge of uncertainty to the usual rather straightforward stories of which audiences have become used to. As impressive as it often is, it doesn’t quite hang together with a sometimes weak script that seems to drag out the story for too long.
But – despite its one or two flaws - this is still an entertaining affair with a fine cast, a great look and some clever ideas.