Sam Strange Remembers: OBLIVION

You finally made a monkey out of me.

It has become abundantly clear that more people than not love science fiction films. I don't know how that happened. Science fiction used to be only for nerds and twerps and dweebs and dorks. Now everyone seems into it, though nerds, twerps, dweebs, and dorks remain the only people who still care about these films more than a week after release.

The main problem with science fiction is that you can only make one movie at a time. They're essentially all ripoffs of other science fiction films at this point, but you can only focus on one major ripoff per film, otherwise people get confused. It would be great if some master filmmaker could come along and ripoff every science fiction movie all at the same time. Think of how much money people would save.

Luckily, I am that filmmaker. Oblivion is a science fiction all about this manual laborer named Gob Livion. He and his wife, Jo Blivion work together on what was once Earth, but now kind of isn't. So you could say this film takes place After Earth.

See, sixty years ago a bunch of aliens tried to kill us. They parked their big ships over a bunch of cities and landmarks. We were in awe of them, but then the ships simultaneously shot down energy beams which engulfed most of our planet in huge walls of fire that killed millions of people and all but one very lucky dog.

Then we nuked the aliens. Our president asked that our children forgive us, but it was not necessary. The blast killed most of the aliens, but most of us, too. So there weren't many people around to give or receive that forgiveness.

All the humans left over went to live on a spaceship called The Axiom. Meanwhile, uneducated workers like Gob Livion and Jo Blivion take care of the Drones. These drones are important because they fight off the remaining aliens, known as Scabs. They look like this:

The Axiom is powered through a fusion process which converts our ocean water into energy. This requires gigantic hydro-reactors. The drones' main objective is to project these reactors. Gob Livion and Jo Blivion's main objective is to project the drones. God's main objective is to hopefully come back to life someday.

Gob and Jo live high above the Earth in an Apple Store complete with an iPool that would be the envy of any young neighborhood yuppie couple. They enjoy all kinds of great technology. Gob gets to fly around everywhere in a cool bubble plane and has a fun rifle. Their blue and white trashcan can roll around, communicate via a beeping language, and even soar from room to room with its unexpected and totally cheesy jetpacks. They also have a golden gay butler-bot, but he's sort of an obnoxious drag.

Gob and Jo are happy, but there is some tension in their relationship. Mainly, Gob is a bit of a dreamer, endlessly curious about and nostalgic for an Earth he cannot remember. Jo is more of a toe the corporate line type. They get along okay, but Gob can't shake the feeling that Jo is a mistaken one night stand that somehow became his whole life. Jo feels the same way, meaning she spends each day feeling like someone's mistaken one night stand. So they're both hiding back some emotions. Feelings have to be suppressed because, as everyone knows and the scary lady on the computer screen keeps reminding them, emotions are like beacons which drew the alien attack in the first place. This is exasperated even further by the fact that they are both almost thirty, and will soon have to voluntarily commit suicide.

But Gob has secrets. There is an arbitrary, invisible boundary known as The Forbidden Zone where the radiation is really high and all the music sounds like this:

It's a rule that he stay away from it. But right on the edge, Gob has found a beautiful green hideaway complete with a pond, cottage, and collection of Led Zeppelin records which Gob pretends to like. Here he passes the days sitting on the grass, reading what he thinks is high literature (Curious George, Dianetics, etc.), and dreaming about playing football, which he doesn't know is actually called volleyball. He also has two best friends: A sorry looking plant and a cute cockroach.

So that's all the set up. Now we can finally get to the movie.

One day a ship called The Icarus lands in the middle of what was New York City. Gob sees that it's filled with humans and goes to rescue them despite a stern order not to from the old computer lady and therefore Jo, as well. When he gets to the wreckage, he finds the drones already busy drilling into the survivors' foreheads, shooting huge streams of blood out their asses. There is only one survivor left, a beautiful woman who happens to be the only one not wearing a red shirt. Gob puts himself between the drone and the final survivor. The drone doesn't know what to do. It loves Tom Cruise but desperately wants to drill into the lady's skull. Eventually the drone relents but feels very unsure and dirty about the whole deal.

As soon as the drone leaves, a bunch of Scabs kidnap Gob and the lady. It turns out they are not aliens at all but rather really dirty people. They are led by a mystical man named Morpheus. He tells Gob that the reality he knows is little more than a comforting lie pulled over his eyes in order to gain his fear and therefore obedience. He then asks Gob to blow up the Axiom.

Gob is like, "No way!" and runs off crying. Morpheus lets him go, noting that he's headed into The Forbidden Zone. Once there, he will meet his fate.

Instead of meeting his fate, Gob just meets another Gob. They both marvel at how handsome they are, and each invites the other over for dinner because one is having Stovetop Stuffing at 5, while the other is having it at 7, which means they can BOTH have Stovetop Stuffing if they play their cards right. When Gob brings home another Gob, this makes Jo freak out a little. Rather than question her own reality, she tattles on Job to the scary lady on the computer screen, who immediately sends a drone to drill into Jo's forehead.

The drone next comes after the two Gobs but the survivor lady kills it before any more foreheads get drilled. Then she shoots one of the Gobs to keep things from getting too confusing.

Back with the Scabs, Gob finally learns the truth. See, a long time ago, a giant Triangle showed up filled with a million Gob and Jo clones. They killed the whole world. With that done, the giant Triangle set up Gobs and Jos all over the planet to watch its back while it drinks our milkshake.

So the Scabs are not evil aliens but the only actual humans left. Together they have learned to control matter, an act they call "Tuning." Using this power, they have designed a bomb, which they all worship as a deity. They want Gob to fly this bomb directly into the Axiom, thus saving the entire human race from Triangle bondage.

Gob agrees, but first he wants to sleep with the survivor lady because she just told him that she was his wife long before any of this bullshit went down. Their attempt to make love at his cottage doesn't amount to much at first. But then the kid their sex would produce comes back from the future and replaces Gob's Led Zeppelin records with Marvin Gaye, thus ensuring his birth. (He was actually too effective. The lady gets pregnant with twins! Luckily he eats his brother in the womb.) It's very important the boy is born because in the future he will be known as The Rainmaker and will rid the world of all gangsters. Because there will be gangsters again by then, and they will be a problem.

With that done, it's time for Gob to fly his bubble ship - which can travel in outer space - into the Axiom. Before he does, he gets to talk to the main Triangle a bit. While talking, Gob accidentally sneezes, thus giving the Triangle a cold which kills it instantly. So he doesn't have to kill himself after all.

Happier than ever, Gob travels him to meet his wife. On the way, though, the bubble on his spaceship pops and he crashes to the ground. Luckily, he finds a horse to ride. The horse takes him on a beautiful beachside route home he's never taken before. Eventually he comes across the Statue of Liberty, which previously existed only as a vague memory of his old life. He takes a closer look only to realize *gasp* The Statue of Liberty is a dude! He wasn't on Earth this whole time after all!

To find out where he was instead, you'll just have to wait for the sequel, Stupefaction.

(three stars)