In recent years there has been a monumental surge of apocalyptic films, highlighting the devastation, detritus, bruised and broken monuments and sparse inhabitants roaming in lawless, “survival of the fittest” abandonment: “The Road”, “The Book of Eli”, “Warm Bodies”, “Walking Dead”, upcoming “After Earth” ; all of these films resonate powerfully with young audiences, a conundrum I found mystifying until Monday, April 15th when two bombs were detonated on Boylston Street in Boston; severing normalcy for thousands, forever.
The cataclysmic horrors perpetrated upon a country that in the words of Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) pleaded for “your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free” ; and they came, from all lands, and are still coming to the grandest land of all, where there are no rules, parameters on initiative; a “melting” cauldron, bubbling to the brim with every ethnic, religious, political ingredient known to man; intangible, mutable boundaries, embracing without prejudice or malice all worthy of its inimitable largess.
Brothers accepted by their peers, disenfranchised nonetheless, misguided by warped ideals; why didn’t they leave, go back to their birth nation? Instead, perpetrated upon their host country; a country that gifted them every opportunity to excel, thrive, nurture their brains, brawn, whims; heinous, indiscriminate, savage carnage on the innocent, unsuspecting, undeserved population. There is no god or prophet who proselytized total annihilation of the “other”; these precepts are inspired and fostered by diseased, bilious, ghoulish mentalities. America, wounded, far from crippled, no longer “wanting the wretched refuse from your teeming shores.”
For twelve years the youth of America, and throughout the world, have lived in a realm of uncertainty; security shattered; they flock to films that no matter how bleak, formidable, despotic; mankind mangled, diminished but survived; offering a glint of hope; life after the apocryphal, “Oblivion”!
Tom Cruise is “Jack”, a mechanic, in a post-apocalyptic Earth (2077); he repairs drones and lives in high-tech splendor with “Victoria” (a robotically perfect, Andrea Riseborough), surrounded by iconic reminders of man’s past architectural wonders; his memory fractured, painfully jarred after saving “Julia” (exquisite, Olga Kurylenko) from a sixty-year induced sleep. Visually beautiful, enough action to keep sleep in abeyance; titillated with the possibility of cloning; flawed, disjointed, but sprinkles the viewer, primarily under thirty, with a dash of optimism.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!