Plot Holes in Oblivion

 FMR editors Henry Baum and Catherine Randall went to see Oblivion and came up with this list of plot holes. Beware of major spoilers!

Ah cr*p! I just realized this movie has major plot issues!

Advanced Alien Technology Pretty ’80s Really…

  1. If this race of aliens is so advanced, why have they built such crappy robot drones that need constant upkeep by humans? Why clone the humans to fix them, when you could just clone the drones themselves instead of wasting time with the whole “human clones fixing broken drones”?
  2. If the true purpose of the clones is to kill the human Scavs, why arm him with just a gun? Give him his own personal drone that can scan the area.
  3. The Scavs are a threat to the drones, but not much else. Why even try to kill the 30 people left on earth? They managed to take down the saltwater-sucker, but that was only with technology from drones that don’t even need to bother with the humans in the first place.
  4. If the aliens are so advanced, why do they need sea water at all? You can make sea water. It’s salt plus water. They have technology to build houses and planes and motorbikes and make people. They have to spend fifty years sucking seawater up? They need to watch the coastguards off of Malibu scooping up the water in bags to put out the forest fires over in the hills there at the moment. That’s just a plastic sheet, a rope and a helicopter scooping up gallons at a time – really, Olympic sized swimming pools’ worth of seawater at a time. And these aliens, they are super technological. They haven’t got a tarp and rope? Or hey, they could take some seawater and clone it. Thousands of tonnes of it.
    Problem solved. Instantly. Because humans are 80% water, and they can clone them…
  5. The alien race is so advanced that they can clone humans and build drones, and the Tet. And yet, it was easier to set up this whole scenario thousands of times over on the planet and section it off with all this nonsensical technology than to simply do something with gas or poison to kill all remaining humans. Then they could suck up the seawater and have a stress-free time. But no, they decided it was easier to have this whole set up with clones and drones and guns and technology…really? It’s like the Tet said to itself: we need to make this dramatic for a viewing audience, rather than easy.
  6.  If these drones can be broken so easily with a shot to the lens, then why would the aliens build them like that?
  7. Why does Sally have the ability to read Jack’s mind but mistakes a big old black man (Beech) in the pod for Julia, a small young Russian woman.
  8. Victoria somehow has camera views of everything that Jack Harper is doing, yet the Tet has no idea what he’s up to: i.e. fighting with his own clone, placing a sleep pod by a lake, etc.

Olga Kurylenko realizes she can’t act

The Many Jack Harpers Are Actually Kind Of Stalker-y In The End

  1.  If there are at least 52 sectors, and therefore at least 52 Jack Harpers, then why is it that only the one 52 sector Jack Harper finds Julia Harper at the end? Why would she not have 1000’s of Jack Harpers coming at her over time? Wouldn’t they all have a memory of building a cabin by a lake? Why would it take three years to find it? Why is she OK with this? Didn’t she look for him?

Beech Makes No Sense

  1. Why did Beech come to New York where the dangerous sea and aliens were set up with the Tet instead of staying in Chicago, where he said it was relatively safe? How did he get there if it was so hard to navigate across the wastelands?
  2. If the NASA crew had been asleep for 60 years, then how old was Beech when all this happened? 15? He’s about 70 years old now, but said he was a soldier when it all happened. And why is everyone else 30 or younger?
  3. How does Beech know the exact quote that Jack reads from Thomas Macaulay’s book? Isn’t Jack in the bathroom on the john at the time? They must be some powerful binoculars Beech has. And some bitching lip-reading skills. Through walls. Miles away.

And then they realized TJ Maxx would have been more comfortable than the RPG store costumes

What’s Up With The Outfits?

  1. If the Chrysler Building survived, and you could go inside, then why not TJ Maxx or Ross? Why is it necessary to wear codpieces and capes? Would the scavs just wear decent tshirts and pants? Wouldn’t the clothes be all different colors? Not color coordinated?
  2. Where did the scavs get stealth technology and yet they can’t have a shower? Why do they have to look dirty and unkempt? They must have access to water or they’d be dead.
  3. Why does Victoria have to wear stilettos at home?

Timelines Make No Sense

  1. If they have only two weeks to go on Earth, and it’s a lie, then what would happen when the two weeks are up? Would they believe that it is always two weeks every day? Or would they get replaced? Why would they get replaced? Why tell them two weeks to go? What would that do?
  2. If the pod with the NASA crew in it is set to go back to Earth automatically once released, why did it take 60 years to get back there considering it takes Jack Harper about an hour to fly there with Beech to blow it up?  The Tet is only just outside of Earth’s atmosphere after all.

Why Is Julia A Frickin’ Weirdo?

  1. Why doesn’t Julia just tell Jack immediately he is her husband and what happened? There is no reason for her not to tell him straight away. Does she know he can’t be Jack? Well, no, because she is also alive, so she thinks he got woken up first. She also already knows Victoria so she would have surely just said ” Oh hi, so glad to see you two guys from my crew”.

Sally is just so out of touch with the kids on Earth

The Recordings Make No Sense

  1. The signal the Scavs send from the Empire State Building: Jack Harper says with surprise, ” Why are they sending a signal off-planet?” at a time when he believes the scavs are aliens, and therefore off-planet. So duh, they would be sending a signal off-planet, right? What would be weirder is if they had been sending a signal across the planet. Surely?
  2. OK – Odyssey, the NASA shuttle. How does the flight recorder end up in the sleep pod, that separates from the flight pod, where Jack and Victoria are? Because Julia recovers it from that portion of the crashed shuttle. Which means, anything that was said between Victoria and Jack after that, and the entire experience of entering the Tet would not have been recorded. And yet, it is.

Oblivion IMDB


8 Responses to “Plot Holes in Oblivion”

  • Quantumnerd

    Well first off in the history of the world when someone or something takes over a city, village, planet etc. The point is to make the losers subservient, that’s the point of having the power, to make those lower than you, slaves. It would be no win to TET to not use the human race for their own needs. This answers about the whole first section of your first area. Sally doesn’t have the ability to read minds, she was reading his respiration and voice patterns, and Beech was wearing a suit that would hide who he was. When Jack 49 was off grid, he was off grid to TET and to Victoria she did not know where he was at all times, she had no clue about the lake house. I don’t think there were that many Jack and Victoria’s on Earth, I think they had to eliminate them as they became more and more aware of the memories of the original humans. Thus the reason they had so many clones made. It was a flaw in cloning but actually a spiritual message that the human spirit or soul can’t be erased. The Jack clones had memories of the original Jack, Jack 52 would not have the memories from Jack 49, so Jack 52 would not of known about the Lake house. The lake house was a dream of the human Jack, that clone 49 carried out. Clone 52 might of made a lake house someday but chances are it would of been in another area. Julia didn’t know that Jack 52 also had the memories as far as she was concerned it was only Jack 49. The book that Jack 49 found was a book that Beech was reading and had a book mark at the page with the quote. The Odyssey was floating in space for 60 years. It wasn’t a direct flight. I’m sure TET managed to allow that to happen. Julia couldn’t say anything about the past until she realized that he had some type of understanding of it, if she were to reveal anything and then he could of easily of called TET like Victoria did, when faced with the truth, she had to let Jack 49 remember and feel him out on the situation before opening up to him. When Julia wakes up she obviously realizes that something is wrong, first off Jack is distant, so is Victoria. She can’t say anything until she knows what is going on. She obviously knew that it wasn’t her original crew when Victoria started telling her about the crash and losing all her crew members. The flight recorder transmission ended and the rest was Jack 49’s rendition. Also if you remember Beech and all the “scav’s” in that location were all in Nasa as well, the real Jack was their commander. So that’s how they knew to send up a tracking signal to try to reach the Odyssey. The only thing I think I was confused with was at the very end it seems that the real Jack and real Victoria were blown up, hence the bright light, and the end of the flight recorder transmission. So how did TET clone the real Jack and Victoria if they were blown up? The only thing I can think of is that Jack 49’s flashback was incorrect and just because the transmission ended does not mean they were blown up. Which I’m leaning towards lol. Anyway, the movie is suppose to be a type of Space Odyssey movie, if you think about it they used the name Odyssey, they use the name Titan, and Hal9000 (Hal and Sal) lol The only real mistake I read about and haven’t verified is that Julia’s sleep pod says J. Rusakova when Jack 49 finds her at the crash site, but…when it opens at the lake house it says J. Harper. Also I read the Led Zeppelin song is not the first song on the first side, it’s the third song on the second side. :)

  • king_lerxst

    In regard to the names on the pods: The pod that went to Tet with Beech in it had Kurasenko on it. The pod that Julia emerged from at the llake house said Harper. This would have been Jacks original, unoccupied pod from the Odyssey. The one he launched away and that landed, empty, in the crash.

  • Jim The Soundmanq

    I also found it odd that with humans living underground (in the NY Public Library) for 60 years wouldn’t have devised better defenses against infiltration by the drones. I mean when Jack repairs that captured drone it is totally restrained from moving by a few ratchet straps. Couldn’t they have outfitted some webbing stretched across hallways or nets that drop down from the ceiling to catch the invading drones in their fortress hideout? Better yet, don’t you think they would have developed an airlock or something with a set of double doors to keep the drones from just charging in? I mean, thats basic security that every prison has now, double doors when you go in or go out. And if you can kill a drone by shooting it in the lens, then why in 60 years haven’t the aliens devised a better design? And why do they need cloned humans to fix the drones? Can’t they just build drones that fix other drones? It has more plot holes than a sieve.

    • Matt

      Because a drone wouldn’t be able to repair another drone with a simple piece of bubble gum like Jack49 did at the beginning of the movie. Do you at all see what I mean by this? The real question is who is manufacturing the bubble gum for Jack49 to chew.

  • TsR

    It’s a good movie, considering it’s “hollywoodified” – Either that or hollywood has produced so much crap lately that i relish at something even half decent…

    Anyways, here’s a real plot hole, a movie breaker of titanic magnitude. They lost the drone that was going to deliver the nukes to the tet and thus decided that they should instead sacrifice their 2 most senior commanders in the fight against the invading force (it was one alien AI, not many aliens) yet at the same time they conveniently forgot about the drone they left in the desert where they tied up clone 52 (the drone which was fully functional and threatening to kill until they removed the power supply). Why sacrifice their top dogs instead of using a drone?

    Also at the end when they blow the tet up, you see all these drones charging at the ‘rebel base’ only to fall lifeless to the ground as soon as the tet is blown. Now this is a critical error because it can only mean that the tet had them all slaved to it’s own AI. In other words, everything the drones saw and heard and in other ways sensed, the tet knew about and could adjust to instantly. Also this means that none of the drones could function at times when the tet was below the horizon since it didn’t figure out how to make relay satelites to send a signal around a planet. Unless of course the whole loss of signal thing was something which was added for dramatic reasons or a test from the tet for the clones (what would they do while “unwatched”?)

    I’m not very impressed with the IQ of this AI, supposedly near omnipotent (compared to humanity) and it can’t figure out how to deal with a problem via proxy? Also, when bringing two alien lifeform and what looks like a giant container aboard your vessel, bring all of that straight to the heart of the machinery – so that if it’s booby trapped in some way you are sure to get blown up entirely.

    The tet was after the Deuterium in the seawater because it makes the purest fusion reactor process and thus will be most efficient. Now the earth’s seas has roughly 150/180 parts deuterium per million hydrogen units, while a planet like Jupiter or saturn has roughly 30 units per million hydrogen units but guess what, they are both extremely large compared to the earth and thus yielding much more of it in total mass – with the added comfort that the tet can take it easy and bombard earth from jupiter or saturn orbit with nukes/poison/whatever kills all humans fast, then go fetch the sea water on earth relatively safe from those pesky little humans instead of vaging a 10 year war with clones and whatnot while being denied it’s precious deuterium that it so desperately needed that it outfitted all it’s drones with it in their endless patrols and wareffort.

    You can say what you like about the tet and the tens of thousands – if not more – years it spent travelling between stars hunting energy sources, but one thing is perfectly clear: It wasn’t particulary brilliant in it’s reasoning and way of thinking.

  • Nehal

    Last scene on tet is a disaster. Jack gets down from his air/space craft and drags the sleeping pod. Did anyone think how come there was full blown gravity available at Tat?

  • Steve

    So Jack and Victoria’s house is up high above the clouds. How are they able to breathe in such thin a atmosphere?

  • Jack Harper

    The major plot hole I noticed is if the sleep pods were in orbit for 60 years why didn’t the tet have time to destroy, capture or clone them for other missions. Plus if you we’re an advanced alien species you don’t fly half way across the galaxy to have stupid ass humans do your dirty work and mess it up.