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‘Oblivion’ is very satisfying entertainment


Tom Cruise’s specialty is big budget action movies and his latest venture comes with a sci-fi twist.

“Oblivion” is a science-fiction film and an action movie, and it honors the conventions of both genres.

For sci-fi fans, there are a lot of cool futuristic space gizmos set in a post-apocalyptic world. And Tom Cruise has just enough chase scenes and shootouts to keep the action crowd happy too.

“Oblivion” is set in 2077 and the only two humans on earth are Tom Cruise and a female communications officer name Vika.

Their job is to monitor and repair the dozen or so drones who patrol the planet, on the lookout any “scavs,” the remnants of the defeated but persistent alien army.

Cruise and his colleague/mate have had their memories wiped clean – so as to more efficiently perform their mission – but he keeps having these troubling memory flashes of someone and someplace he can’t quite fix.

When a rogue spaceship crashes to Earth, Cruise investigates over the objection of his command.

What he uncovers at the crash site troubles him more than any flashbacks.

“Oblivion” is a gorgeous film to look at, especially on the Imax screen. The contrast between the bombed-out devastation of the planet and the elegance of Cruise’s high-tech personal world is visually arresting. Both his sky-tower apartment perched above the clouds and his aerodynamic bubbleship are models of sleek design.

As for the plot, it feels derivative in an oddly refreshing way.

You recognize bits from at least half a dozen other sci-fi movies, it’s true, but since they’re all jumbled together in an almost random fashion, it feels less like a rip off and more like a compilation of greatest hits.

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