Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Oblivion.
Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Oblivion. Contributed - UPI media website

Movie review: Oblivion

THERE are a lot of movies where Tom Cruise, the actor, gets in the way of the character he's trying to play.

Not so in Oblivion, director Joseph Kosinski's futuristic sci-fi thriller in which a veteran from Earth's war with invading aliens stays on to help extract the planet's remaining water to benefit the survivors now living on one of Saturn's moons.

Cruise is well-cast as the all-American war vet Jack who is steadfast in his commitment to his mission, which he carries out with partner Victoria from their sky-high house and command centre, until he has a run in with the remaining "scavengers" who sabotage the water collection efforts.

It seems like Jack and Victoria are the only two humans remaining on the desolated and supposedly radiation-ridden planet, but things are not as they seem.

Their relationship is thrown into conflict when a ship crash lands in the desert and Jack rescues the mysterious Julia (Olga Kurylenko) about whom he's been having confusing, broken dreams.

Plot twists abound and make for a gripping ride as Jack slowly discovers who he truly is and what's really happening to Earth.

While you leave the cinema with questions, it's a good thing as your mind pours back over the plot and the truly compelling reality which eventually emerges.

Visually, Oblivion is a masterpiece with the slim lines and meticulous order of Jack and Victoria's home contrasting with the natural landscapes and remnants of civilization below.

The monotone greys and whites of their daily working life contrast with the bright colours of Jack's secret oasis, which you'll have to go see the movie to find out more about.

I know some critics have labelled the plot as confusing but I found going on the journey of discovery along with Jack to be the best thing about the movie.

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  • Stars: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo.
  • Rating: M
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski
  • Stars: 4/5