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.
Former U.S. Army Ranger Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is now a Secret Service agent assigned to head the Presidential Detail. He maintains a personal, friendly relationship with President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), First Lady Margaret Asher (Ashley Judd) and particularly their son Connor Asher (Finley Jacobsen). On a drive from Camp David on the snowy night of December 22, 2010, the car transporting the President and First Lady crashes; Banning saves Benjamin, but Margaret dies.
Eighteen months later, Banning works at the Treasury Department within eyesight of the White House, and wants to return to being a Secret Service agent on the Presidential detail, but Asher does not allow this as Banning brings up memories of the night Margaret died. During a meeting at the White House on July 5, 2012 between Asher and the South Korean Prime Minister, a Korean group leads a guerrilla attack against the White House. The assailants include an airplane attack against Washington D.C. by a stolen USAF AC-130 gunship, land forces disguised as citizens which initiate a car bomb attack, traitors within the security detail of the South Korean Prime Minister, and the current head of the Prime Minister’s Detail, Dave Forbes (Dylan McDermott), who reveals himself to be a traitor. The assault ends with the Koreans capturing the White House and holding the President and several top officials hostage in the White House bunker, where they kill the South Korean Prime Minister. Agent Roma (Cole Hauser) informs Lynne Jacobs (Angela Bassett), the head of the Secret Service, that “Olympus has fallen” before getting killed.
The group is lead by Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune), an ex-North Korean terrorist who appears to hold allegiance to neither North nor South Korea but to the concept of a unified Korea by any means. Kang has two goals. The first is to use the President as a hostage to force the United States to withdraw from Korea, allowing the civil war to finish. Second, he seeks to detonate all United States nuclear bombs in their silos and destroy the United States as revenge for the death of his mother, victim of an American landmine, and his father who was executed. To accomplish this, he requires the access codes to a system in the bunker called Cerberus, which are held by three top United States officials within the bunker, including the President. Asher orders the other two officials to reveal their codes to save their lives, certain that he will not give up his code.
During the assault, Banning sneaks into the White House and is the only defending survivor. He gains access to the President’s satellite ear phone, which he uses to maintain contact with Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), the Speaker of the House who is now the acting President. His first act is to save Connor, who Kang plans to use to force Asher to reveal his Cerberus code. He finds Connor hiding in the walls thanks to the training Banning had given him, and sneaks him out of the White House through the vents. Banning then goes on a mission of obtaining information on the assailants and reducing their numbers. He also kills Forbes, who has realized his error and repents before dying, helping Banning by reporting him dead to Kang.
When Kang tries to execute Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan (Melissa Leo), Banning is able to save her and take out several more of Kang’s men in the process. With Kang’s forces now greatly dwindling, he fakes his own death, as well as Asher’s, by sacrificing several of his men and the other remaining hostages. Kang, Asher, and the few remaining terrorists remain in the bunker, unknown to the outside world. Kang eventually cracks Asher’s code and activates Cerberus as Banning realizes that his apparent suicide was faked. As Kang attempts to escape Banning kills off the remaining terrorists and manages to kill Kang in a knife fight by stabbing Kang in the head, before disabling Cerberus with the assistance of Trumbull, and one of Trumbull’s team members who gives him the deactivation codes. Banning and Asher safely escape the White House, the United States begins repairing the damage to Washington D.C. and the White House, with Banning once again becoming head of the Presidential Detail.
In My Humble Opinion: Tyler Perry taking over the character that was made famous by Morgan Freeman in a “prequelesque” movie has got to be some of the worst casting I have ever heard of. Now to be fair, I don’t watch much Tyler Perry stuff anyway haha. However, I know there are plenty of other black actors that have the talent needed in order to pull this role off, I just don’t see Mr. Perry being one of them. I’ll admit some aspects of the movie got me pretty excited when I first saw the preview. Matthew Fox looks like he fills the role of “crazy” pretty well, not to mention he seems to have transformed his body more than DeNiro did for Cape Fear. Tyler Perry on the other hand, I don’t know, I just can’t buy him as a police detective / psychologist. Morgan Freeman did a good job in the first two Alex Cross movies; Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. They weren’t blockbusters or great by any means, but they were still decent films that were entertaining in their own right. If the studio wanted to bring Alex Cross back to his beginnings and cast a younger actor surely they had some other people in mind right? In my reading, Idris Elba was first approached to take over the role and frankly, I think he would have killed it…in a good way. Idris Elba is slowly becoming one of the premier actors in Hollywood, mark my words people. Another two names I would like to throw out there are Harold Perrineau and Lennie James. I know I know, Harold Perrineau and Matthew Fox played together on Lost and it might have thrown off the balance of the movie, but I think Harold is a great actor and I am loving him as Damon Pope on Sons of Anarchy. The other actor I mentioned Lennie James not only looks like a younger Morgan Freeman, but can carry deliver just as good a performance. You might remember him from Jericho, where he broke out as a CIA operative that you weren’t sure you should root for or against, which was part of his genius. Unfortunately none of these actors got the role and it fell to Mr. Perry to fill the shoes of Alex Cross. I just hope that the studio didn’t do this in an attempt to capitalize on his sudden rise to fame…oh who am I kidding of course it did.
In My Humble Opinion: I haven’t seen the movie yet, but judging from what I’ve read below…it doesn’t sound like it will live up to what I was hoping for. Personally, I was hoping that Bane would be “the man” but the movie seems to go with the female villain angle….boring !!! And I knew Joseph Gordon Levitt was going to be Robin, I just knew it:
Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham City is in a state of peace. Under powers granted by the Dent Act, Commissioner Jim Gordon has nearly eradicated violent and organized crime. However, he still feels guilty about the cover-up of Harvey Dent‘s crimes. At a function celebrating Dent, he plans to admit to the conspiracy, but decides that the city is not ready to hear the truth. While following a lead in the abduction of a senator from the function, Gordon’s speech falls into the hands of terrorist leader Bane. Gordon is shot in the process, and he promotes patrol officer John Blake to detective, allowing Blake to report directly to him.
As Batman has disappeared from Gotham City, so too has Bruce Wayne, locking himself inside Wayne Manor. Wayne Enterprises is crumbling after he invested in a clean energy project designed to harness fusion power, but shut the project down after learning that the core could be modified to become a nuclear weapon. Bruce suspects that his business rival, John Daggett, has employed Bane to aid in an aggressive take-over of the company. When he attempts to intervene in an attack on the city’s stock exchange, Bruce comes into conflict with Alfred Pennyworth over his plans to return to the streets of the city as Batman. Alfred finally admits that Rachel Dawes chose to marry Dent, and leaves Bruce’s service in an attempt to convince him that he can no longer be Batman.
Following a trail left by cat burglar Selina Kyle, Batman confronts Bane, who says that he assumed the leadership of the League of Shadows following the death of Ra’s al Ghul. Bane kills Daggett and reveals that he was using Daggett’s construction firms to stage a heist on Wayne Enterprises’ Applied Science Division. He steals Bruce’s arsenal before crippling Batman and detaining him in a prison from which escape is virtually impossible. The other inmates relate the story of the only person to ever successfully escape from the prison, a child driven by necessity and the sheer force of will.
Bane lures the Gotham police department underground and sets off a chain of explosions across the city, trapping the officers underground and turning Gotham City into an isolated city-state. Any attempt to leave the city will result in the detonation of the Wayne Enterprises fusion core, which has been converted into a bomb. Addressing the citizens, Bane reveals the cover-up of Dent’s death, and releases the prisoners locked up under the Dent Act. The rich and powerful are dragged from their homes and put before a show trial presided over by Jonathan Crane, where they are given the choice between death or exile, and the city further regresses into a state of anarchy. After an attempt to sneak Special Forces soldiers into the city disguised as aid workers ends with the soldiers hung from a bridge for the world to see, the government blockades Gotham.
Meanwhile, Bruce retrains himself to be Batman and successfully escapes Bane’s prison to return to Gotham. He enlists Selina, Blake, and Lucius Fox‘s help in liberating the people of the city and stopping the fusion bomb. Batman confronts Bane, but Miranda Tate intervenes as she reveals herself to be Talia al Ghul. It was she, not Bane, who escaped the prison as a child, and Bane was permanently scarred as he tried to help her. Gordon successfully cuts off the bomb’s ability to be remotely detonated and Selina kills Bane, allowing Batman to chase Talia. He tries to force her to take the bomb to the fusion chamber, where it can be stabilized, but she remotely floods the chamber. Batman shoots her truck off the road and she dies in the resulting crash, confident that the bomb cannot be stopped. Using a helicopter developed by Fox, Batman hauls the bomb beyond the city limits, where it detonates over the ocean.
In the aftermath of the explosion, the world believes Batman to be dead and Bruce to have been one of the casualties of the riot. As his estate is divided up, Alfred witnesses Bruce and Selina together alive in a cafe in Italy, while Blake inherits the Batcave.
In my humble opinion: To all those people who have jumped on the bandwagon and keep saying, “Batman will surely die in the third movie” you’re drinking a little too much of the kool-aid. 1. It’s already the most anticipated movie of the year….maybe ever, so you’re not going to kill off the main hero in case sequels can be made (it’s Hollywood, they are all about money). 2. What better way to hype up the most anticipated movie ever made even more?….make it look like Bane kills Batman in the trailers. 3. What other movie series decides to kill of the main character (hero) for dramatic effect? None spring to mind? Yeah that’s because it’s never happened… and as much credit as I give to Christopher Nolan (he is awesome!!!) I don’t think he’ll be the one to start the trend. So rest assured people…Batman will not die. Here’s how it will go down: Bane will have beaten Batman in a fight. Bane, thinking he has killed Batman and tossed him down a deep dark waterfall inside the Batcave will then take Batman’s cracked mask and toss it aside thinking he has won…..then…. later on….when all hope is lost…Batman will show up and save the day, in true Hollywood style….all that said I will still be going to see it…no doubt 🙂