FMR editors Henry Baum and Catherine Randall went to see Oblivion and came up with this list of plot holes. Beware of major spoilers!
Advanced Alien Technology Pretty ’80s Really…
- 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”?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
- If these drones can be broken so easily with a shot to the lens, then why would the aliens build them like that?
- 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.
- 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.
The Many Jack Harpers Are Actually Kind Of Stalker-y In The End
- 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
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
What’s Up With The Outfits?
- 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?
- 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.
- Why does Victoria have to wear stilettos at home?
Timelines Make No Sense
- 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?
- 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?
- 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”.
The Recordings Make No Sense
- 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?
- 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.