Oblivion Plot Summary Revealed….(Caution: Spoilers Below)Posted: April 19, 2013
In My Humble Opinion: When I first saw previews for Tom Cruise’s new movie Oblivion I thought it looked like WALL-E the live action version. That being said, I’ll still probably check it out…eventually.
2077: Following an invasion by alien Scavengers (Scavs) sixty years earlier which destroyed the Moon and nearly destroyed the Earth, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is Tech 49, one of the last few humans stationed on earth. He lives thousands of feet above the Earth where he and his communications officer and lover Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are part of an operation to extract planet’s remaining resources, especially water. Jack and Victoria maintain contact with civilization via a video link with their commander, Sally (Melissa Leo), and are due to join the rest of humanity on Titan in two weeks. Jack suffers from recurring dreams and flashbacks of New York before the invasion and an unknown woman. Assisting Jack in his work are weaponized ‘drones’, airborne machines that scour the landscape to destroy the remaining alien resistance.
As Jack nears the end of his mission, a spaceship crashes on the surface, brought down by a Scav homing beacon mounted on the top of the Empire State Building. The ship is carrying a number of sleeping capsules containing human beings in hibernation. Jack rescues a woman, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), from the wreckage, but is unable to save the other passengers. He immediately recognizes Julia as the woman in his flashbacks. Shortly afterwards, Jack and Julia are captured by Scavs, who are revealed to be humans living in an underground stronghold. Their leader, Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman), who was a young soldier when the invasion occurred, claims there are no aliens on the planet and demands that Jack reprogram a captured drone to destroy ‘the Tet’, the space station where Sally is based. Jack refuses, and Beech allows Jack and Julia to leave, advising Jack that he will find answers to his questions in the supposedly dangerous ‘high-radiation zones’.
Jack and Julia climb the ruins of the Empire State Building, where Julia reveals herself to be Jack’s wife. Despite his initial shock at this revelation, it allows Jack to reconcile his flashbacks, knowing it to be the truth. She tells him that the ship in which she crash-landed was a NASA shuttle. Returning to the tower, Victoria refuses to let Jack enter and informs Sally that due to Julia they are no longer an effective team. Sally remotely activates a drone, which kills Victoria, and orders Jack to bring Julia to the Tet, but they flee.
Pursued by drones, Jack and Julia travel into the radiation zone, where they crash and Jack is stunned to come face to face with Tech 52, a clone of himself. Jack and the clone engage in combat that ends with Jack choking the clone unconscious, as well as injuring Julia. Jack uses the clone’s ship to discover a replica of his work tower with a clone of Victoria. Jack returns to Beech, who reveals that Jack is only one of thousands of clones of the original Commander Jack Harper, who was a top astronaut in 2017. These clones were used by the Tet to conquer Earth. The resistance is the planet’s last remaining human outpost and Jack and Victoria’s superiors are the real aliens, draining the Earth of its vital resources. The drones are programmed to attack humans, not aliens.
Jack helps to reprogram the stolen drone. Three drones pick up Jack’s DNA trail and attack the Scav base. The resistance suffers many casualties, including Beech who is mortally wounded. The captured drone is destroyed, however its nuclear fuel cell remains intact. With no other choice, Jack volunteers to fly the nuclear device to the station himself, delivering the ‘hibernating’ Julia as an explanation for his presence.
Jack places her back into her sleeping capsule and sets off to the space station, telling Sally that he is bringing the survivor. During the flight Jack listens to the flight recorder recovered from Julia’s crashed shuttle and, in a series of flashbacks, it is revealed what happened. Back in 2017, with Victoria as his co-pilot and his wife on board in hibernation, his original self navigated his NASA ship to investigate the Tet. While realizing the alien ship tried capturing them and unable to flee, fearing the worst, Jack released the shuttle containing the sleeping capsules before his spacecraft was captured. The shuttle remained in orbit around the Earth for 60 years until drawn in by the homing beacon.
Jack enters and confronts ‘Sally’, who is revealed to be a monolithic, amorphous and self-created being. Sally is disappointed when Jack opens the sleeping capsule, revealing Beech instead of Julia. Julia, unbeknownst to her, was delivered to Jack’s forest retreat on Earth, where he kept mementos such as books and vinyl records. With Sally growing hostile, Jack recites stanza XXVII of “Horatius”, and proceeds to trigger the nuclear device, destroying the Tet (along with himself and Beech). By doing so, the remaining drones on Earth are destroyed.
Three years later, Julia is living a peaceful life on a recovering Earth, and has given birth to a daughter. From the surrounding forest, members of the former resistance appear. As Julia recognized them, ‘Jack’, Tech 52, is revealed to be with them and the couple gaze at each other.