I knew going into the theater that Oblivion starred Tom Cruise. It's hard to miss. And there's something about Cruise movies, something about the fact that he's in every single scene and that whether he's supposed to be part of a team (as in the Mission: Impossible series) or otherwise, it's always narcissistically All About Tom. So there's that.
Then there are problems with the storyline itself. I won't spoil it but the trailers to the film suggest a scenario that might not be exactly what's going on as the film unfolds. The security drones are bad-ass hardware, definitely reminiscent of Robocop's ED-409, they're fast moving, intimidating as hell, and feature very cool on-board scanning and target identification systems. But if aliens can create these security drones, why can't they create robo-drone repair drones too?
With those in mind, however, Oblivion offers up a fascinating near-future but post-apocalyptic Earth where The Statue of Liberty's torch-bearing hand emerges from dirt (reminiscent of the great iconic scene from the original Planet of the Apes), then later Jack and Julia (Olga Kurylenko) zoom through what remains of the Brooklyn Bridge: only the top of the spans rising above the barren brown dirt. Another important setting is the observation area of the Empire State Building, except now it's at ground level (see photo later in this review).
There's no question, the visuals are incredibly well done and for that reason alone, I have to highly recommend Oblivion. I saw it on an IMAX screen and it's breathtaking, just incredibly cool and kinetic, everything you want from a modern sf/x-heavy sci-fi adventure film.
And there's more about the movie I liked too...