Oblivion Plot Summary Revealed….(Caution: Spoilers Below)


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.

16 Comments on “Oblivion Plot Summary Revealed….(Caution: Spoilers Below)”

  1. Brenda says:

    This movie sucked so bad

  2. This movie did not suck . . . people are way too spoiled and mentally lazy. We should still be able the suspend disbelief and enjoy a story . . . you want it to be “plausible” and “realistic” then turn stop watching movies.

    • Delete “turn” in the last sentence – apologies. By their very nature, sci-fi stories will always have plot holes . . . that is part of the component to futuristic made up technology.

      • I agree, with sci-fi movies you have to use your imagination. I remember the movie Moon with Sam Rockwell…good movie, but it also involved cloning. The Prestige…I loved that movie (some of you may hate it) but you really had to let go and suspend your disbelief on some of the stuff in that one for sure

    • It sucked because of the stupid romantic story inbetween. They showed the Jack-Julia love-story at least 5 times. Are we dumb enough not to assume that they were partners of some sort in 2017! They showed the ring-scene itself three times. WTF seriously!

      • That’s Hollywood right? I think one of the worst instances of this was with Pearl Harbor. One of the most horrific events in our nation’s history…but Hollywood thought, “That’s not really enough, we need a love story”

  3. Sandy says:

    This movie sucked so much I got up and walked out of the theatre after about 90 PAINFUL minutes. I am a huge Tom Cruise fan and he was fine. It was the movie that sucked. Too boring, NOTHING HAPPENS, too confusing, what the hell happens anyway? Dumb story, even dumber plot. Music was repetitive, cinematography was dull except for one nice sunset scene and a mountainous background shot (I’ve been to Iceland too). Save your money. I wish I did. I’m so annoyed.

    • James says:

      I walked out too. What a S**T movie. I’ve never ever walked out of a movie before and I love sci-fi. Very disappointing. I would avoid this movie at all costs

      • To have never walked out of a movie (I have not either) and have this be your first makes me confident that I made the right choice in waiting for video. Thanks for your comment, all opinions are welcome.

    • I gotta give you props…if I had invested 90 minutes I would almost feel obligated to stay haha. Given how big a fan of Tom Cruise you say your are, I really don’t have high hopes for this movie now. Thanks for your comments, all opinions are welcome.

    • Stan says:

      You’re hilarious. You walked out of the movie before it was finished because it was “too confusing” for you, and then you want to know what happens. Here’s a brilliant idea, if it’s not too confusing for you; next time, stay until the movie is over and find out. Then you can go whine about it online and actually have an informed opinion and maybe not look like a complete fool (doubtful).

      This movie wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but it was far from terrible and certainly not bad enough to walk out on. Anyone that says they did it was simply over their head. I went into this movie expecting it to be about aliens, but it was really about drones and cloning, which I personally find fascinating given the use of drones and cloning in our society today. In fact, all signs point to something along the lines of this movie being a possibility in our future to those that are not small-minded.

  4. jack says:

    The theme of the “clone” rediscovering his humanity and sacrificing himself to save that humanity is essentially identical to the theme of “Cloud Atlas” which was much more effective at getting the message of the human against the inhuman society across. I agree with Christopher. Nobody saw Cloud Atlas because you had to work too hard to get it-took me two viewings- but it was beautiful and very strangely moving once you “got it”.
    “Oblivion” didn’t get there, as is often the case where a good philosophical concept gets swallowed up by too much action, ala the Matrix films, and which interestingly, Cloud Atlas pretty much avoided.
    The movie spent too much time establishing “Sally’s” fiction, and not enough good dialogue so you understood the dismantelling of that fiction.
    I could look at Olga Kurylenko for hours however.

    • I have not seen Cloud Atlas…yet, but I do remember watching a movie that I thought was really well done involving clones…no it’s not Multiplitcity (though I do love that movie haha) It was Moon with Sam Rockwell. I guess at least with that I wasn’t expecting a huge action film rather a trippy/interesting sci-fi movie. It didn’t suffer from getting swallowed up by too much action as you pointed out. Thanks for your comment, all opinions are welcome.

  5. bk lm says:

    I fully enjoyed the movie. Sure clone discovering his true identity has been done not just once before. Like everything else e.g. time travel, if it’s done with enough variations on the theme, it’s still worth it. This movie is especially not a low budget film. The sets, props, designs are great. I particularly like no freaking hand held shaking camera, not much anyway. I don’t get people walking out of the movie. It’s just a movie. You paid for it. No way you need to be ashamed caught watching it. You guys trying to make a statement from a movie. Grow up, get a life.

  6. Edward says:

    Anybody who walks out of a movie because it wasn’t what they expected is painfully self-absorbed in an infantile sort of way. If a movie is “too complicated” or “too boring” for you, just sit thru it, and maybe even consider watching it a 2nd time another day. Honestly, too many people these days live in a “microwaveable” world (i.e. they just want instant gratification and nothing more).

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