Movie Review: Oblivion

Is there a market for writing movie reviews months and even years after movies have come out, and virtually everyone who wanted to see the movie has already done so? If there is, let the money start rolling in, because those are the types of movie reviews I seem to write.

 I reviewed the movie Looper a few months ago, which you can read about here, and highlighted the Conservative theme that runs through the movie. Last night, my husband and I watched the movie Oblivion, with Tom Cruise. While I was just looking for a couple of hours of entertainment, a Conservative principle jumped right out at me, and I knew another Barely Relevant Movie Review was in order.

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First of all, if you haven’t seen it, and you like sci-fi movies, put Oblivion on your Netflix queue. It has lovely special effects (which is to say, you barely notice them at all), innovative sets, incredible locations, and the film score is exceptional. The movie drags a bit in the middle, and there are a few unanswered questions at the end, but all in all, it’s worth the couple of hours.

Tom Cruise’s Jack Harper is essentially a government employee. He has a dangerous job, fixing drones that protect machinery necessary for human survival off planet. His teammate (and girlfriend) Victoria follows his progress through video and voice communication, and keeps an eye on him from the office portion of their lovely glass home base, which is anchored on earth, but sits in the clouds. We see Jack going about his job, keeping Victoria posted on his every move and action. As the movie progresses, we see Jack fake a communication problem, and we watch as he flies to a beautiful and remote cabin he has built, by a river. In the cabin, we get a glimpse into Jack’s life: His baseball cap; his sunglasses; books he recovers and hides, as he is not supposed to dwell on the way things were. We see him put on some classic rock and relax, relishing the peace that comes with being unobserved.

What’s wrong with the government provided home that Jack shares with Victoria? There’s a swimming pool! And a coffee maker! And a shower that is right out of a Kohler commercial! But when you see Jack as he sneaks off to his riverside retreat, you understand that what he is missing is the one thing the government absolutely cannot give you: freedom.

Our most basic desire is for freedom: freedom to build our own lives, freedom to fill our lives with the books and music we enjoy. Freedom to be unobserved, not because we have something to hide, but because what we are doing is simply no one else’s business.

This is the Conservative life, my friends. We want to leave you alone, we want to be left alone. We trust you to go about your life in the way that is best for you and yours. We know we will go about our lives in the way that is best for us and ours. We want you to practice the religion of your choice…or NOT. We truly don’t care. We’re over here, practicing our religion…or not. As long as neither of us takes our rights so far that we infringe on the other’s, we all live happily ever after.

In Jack Harper’s life in the lovely glass house in the clouds, he has been given everything a person could want or need. He has a beautiful and attentive girlfriend, a gorgeous home, and an adventurous and interesting job. But what he really wants is to have the things he earns for himself, not the things he is handed, and he desires not to be watched while he enjoys them. This is Conservatism, in it’s most basic form. This is what our founding fathers, tired of living under the thumb of England, chased and caught in the New World. This is what modern day Conservatives recognize as slipping away from us, this is why we’re a little wild eyed these days.

Now I’ll give you a giant, screaming SPOILER ALERT, because I’m going to reveal the end of the movie to make my final point. If you’ve seen the movie, or don’t particularly care about knowing the end of the movie beforehand, keep reading.

***** SPOILER AHEAD *****

The way that Jack finally delivers the people of earth from the tyranny which controls them is that he blows up the governing body. There’s no negotiating, legislating, or pontificating. There are weapons, and there is rebellion, and the people are set free because the controlling party is eradicated. I am not advocating blowing up anything or anyone in the government. Jack’s foe is a mechanical alien; our government is made up of people, and human life is precious. What I am saying, however, is that negotiating with the enemy is not really an option. If Conservatism wants to win the battle for our country, we must defeat the system with our votes and our activism. We need to stump for the good politicians, we need to be hounds at the heels of the bad ones. We need to be vocal. We have a republic to save from oblivion. Freedom is more precious than comfort. Let’s get to it.

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