Oblivion: Lowered Expectations

I imagine that the following scene takes place whenever a science fiction movie is being developed in Hollywood.

Young, energetic screenwriter: I have a great idea for a sci-fi movie. It takes place in a really interesting world, there’s a cool protagonist, and the plot is really riveting.
Movie Producer: Great! It’s been awhile since we had a Star Trek movie. Let’s do that.
Young, energetic screenwriter: Oh, it’s not a Star Trek story. It’s totally new-
Movie Producer: Well, we only do these kinds of movies as Star Wars, Star Trek, or Starship Troopers movies. You’ll have to pick one of those. But don’t worry – you can basically write whatever you want. Just make sure the character is Kirk’s great great-uncle twice removed and that we have a scene of some guys working on the design of the enterprise. Oh, and one of the old-timer actors will have to have a cameo as a time-traveling version of themselves.
Young, energetic screenwriter: Uh…
Movie Producer: Great!

The good thing about Oblivion is that it is not:

1) A Star Wars sequel or prequel
2) A Star Trek reboot
3) A Starship Troopers movie
4) Related at all to any movie in The Planet of the Apes series

And even though it might be Scientology propaganda, there were a few things about this movie that I liked. Namely,

#1 It was based on an unpublished graphic novel, which is the closest thing to an original script we’re ever going to get
#2 The 80s-style synthesizer score
#3 It initiated a hearty game of science fiction movie cliché bingo:

Brainwashed sexy girl

Alien harvesting pod

Morpheus-like wise man

Evil robots

Deepfreeze space travel

Memory wipes

Other than that, it was mediocre. But we left the house. And had popcorn!

And that’s everything I hoped for.


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