THE BLOG
04/17/2013 08:06 am ET Updated Jun 17, 2013

Movie Review: Oblivion

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Painfully derivative, Oblivion is Strike Two against director Joseph Kosinski, who made the vacantly gorgeous Tron: Legacy.

Unfortunately reminiscent of many other, better movies, Oblivion is a comic-book -- excuse me, graphic novel -- adaptation that has one thing in its favor: It's not in 3D.

Otherwise, this Tom Cruise vehicle is large, lavish and flat as a fallen soufflé. There's action but little excitement, spectacle without thrill. You are able to appreciate the visual effects that create a version of Earth wracked by catastrophic natural phenomena and left in ruin for years - mostly because the story itself requires so little thinking.

Cruise plays Jack Harper, left to monitor and extract resources from the dying planet after a calamitous war with space aliens, which Earth won but which destroyed the planet. So most Earthlings have been transported to Titan, one of Saturn's moons, and new Earth colonies there. Jack and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), his partner, are in the final week of their tour of duty before they get to leave Earth for Titan.

But there is a human resistance force on Earth (led by Morgan Freeman) that is trying to disrupt that extraction: specifically, the depletion of Earth's oceans, which are being sucked up into massive energy generators, which turn the water into fusion energy.

This review continues on my website.