In 64 years, humans will travel around the planet in sleek ships; bubble like drones will patrol the Earth, capable of exterminating any form of threat they encounter in their route – that’s if you believe Joseph Kosinski’s vision of Earth in 2077 in sci-fi thriller Oblivion.

Our Moon has been blown to bits, and the planet we call home is no longer habitable due to massive nuclear radiation, and decades of war against alien species, Scavengers (also known as Scavs).Leaving the rest of humankind no choice but to construct an ark, Tet, with which they sought refuge in Titan, the largest moon revolving around Saturn.

Tom Cruisestars as Jack Harper, the airborne technician who repairs drones sent to gather whatever resources left on Earth, and at the same time, terminate any Scav in sight. Working alongside Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), the ‘effective team’ is a few days away from joining the rest of humanity at Tet.

Close to the end of the mission, Jack finds himself reluctant to leave Earth, clinging on to the bits and pieces he finds on every patrol; the images of New York before the war, and dreams of a mysterious young woman (played by Olga Kurylenko) so familiar, yet foreign.

Then when a space shuttle crashes on Earth, Jack finds more than just shattered glass and wrecked metal, but the woman in his dreams. As he tries to pull her out of the wreckage, the drones that are programmed to only kill aliens annihilate the rest of the survivors, causing Jack to question everything he does and believe in. Following her rescue, he meets Beech (played byMorgan Freeman) who holds plenty of answers to his burning questions.

Kudos to the director of Tron: Legacy, whose training as an architect left us with stunning visuals of what our future may hold, the great cast capable of bringing life to the characters they play (when you say Morgan Freeman, I think God from Bruce Almighty – that’s how good an actor he is), and the impressive futuristic inventions that will get you excited for the year 2077. Picture this: Living in a minimalistic themed tower thousands of feet above the Earth supported by a large beam and being able to control huge machines with just the tip of your finger.

Cast onto the background of a wasteland, with shots taken from across the United States and Ireland, the high-tech machines and beautiful scenery make the perfect props for the US$120-million (S$148-million) film. Not forgetting, a great performance from Cruise, on par with his outings as Roy Miller in Knight and Day, bringing what would have been a mundane character to life. With plenty of focus placed on Jack’s emotions, Cruise kept the audience anticipating the moment in which something unbelievable happens to this curious, and confused character.

However, Oblivion fell flat after being stretch (way too slowly) for 125 minutes. Though there were plenty of plot twists (the Scavs turned out to be more than everyone thought they were), they weren’t enough to keep you on the edge of your seat going ‘what on Earth just happened?

It was a pity that a more substantial plot didn’t accompany the astounding visuals of the film, and that Oscar winner Freeman’s screen time was minimal. Though he played a supporting character this time round, it was definitely one of the most significant roles of the film that wasn’t tapped on as much as it should have been. You’d expect to see more than just a couple of minutes screen time of the character that’s featured so prominently on the movie poster, especially when he’s the one who takes the movie in a whole new direction. Much like Cruise’s last sci-fi film, War of the Worlds, the plot’s exceptional visuals fail to distract us from its flat plot, and sub-par twists.

Despite its beauty and veteran A-list cast, Oblivion unfortunately had more misses than hits, being based on a less plot-substantial graphic novel. It’s one of those films you’d most likely buy the DVD only if it’s on sale. Like its name, this film is something that’s likely to be forgotten.

Rating: 3/5

Release Date: Apr 11

Runtime: 2 hrs 5 mins

Language: English

Censorship Rating: PG13

Genre: Action

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Main actors: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough