First review I've seen, by our most-excellent film critic Lawrence Toppman for Charlotte's daily fishwrap. He gives it a "C" grade:Oblivion
What an excellent action toy Tom Cruise makes!
Blow him across a room with a titanic fireball, and he doesn’t sweat. Drag him face-first through a hundred feet of sand without goggles, and he gets not a speck of grit in his eyes. Drop him two stories onto a wooden table, which he breaks with his back, and he’s unscathed. He might get a cut on his nose if smashed in the face with the butt of a heavy gun, but that’s only so … well, I can’t reveal that aspect of “Oblivion,” because it leads to the surprise that’s not a surprise if you remain conscious and face the screen.
Of course, toys don’t have a wide range of facial expressions or emotional responses. But director Joseph Kosinski (who did the equally beautiful, flat “TRON: Legacy”) and his writers don’t need many: They’re content with robust explosions and riveting aerial chases on a handsomely designed set. The film comes from a comic book, looks like a video game and doesn’t bother us with complications.
Cruise plays Jack, a technician servicing attack drones and power centers left on Earth after a terrible war. Alien invaders destroyed our moon in 2017; that threw world climate into chaos and wiped out cities with tidal waves and earthquakes.
We used nuclear weapons to drive the aliens away, but they left “scavengers” all over Earth to plague us. Now Jack and his communications expert, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), hunt “scavs” with deadly drones and keep power flowing to a space station in the sky, which is a jumping-off point for humans relocating to a moon of Saturn.
At this point, you may wonder why aliens left soldiers behind, unsupplied and defenseless, merely to annoy us. (Jack wonders that aloud, because it’s absurd.) You may also wonder why we can’t send someone to Mars in 2013 but developed the technology to send people to Saturn four years later, after Earth was turned to rubble . By God, if you’re going to keep asking questions, I’m done with you.
OK, back on track. A spaceship crash-lands, and Jack rescues a lone astronaut in suspended animation before the drone adds her to its kill list. She’s Julia (Olga Kurylenko), who somehow brings memories of the days before Jack went through a voluntary memory wipe. (But why did he need a memory wipe? Sorry, that’s another question.)
Cruise was once an actor and perhaps could be again, if his skills haven’t withered after the likes of this and “Jack Reacher” and “Rock of Ages.” (Maybe the character name is bad luck: He has played Jack, Jack and Jaxx in those films.)
At 50, he remains the kind of rugged juvenile Hollywood worships; other action heroes sag or get wrinkles, but he remains firm-jawed and clear-eyed and buffed. When he has to express puzzlement or anxiety, it’s the puzzlement and anxiety of a kid who isn’t sure he can get a prom date.
His two female co-stars fare no better – not that the script gives them any help – and Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo turn up in cameo roles anyone could have played. Kosinski was smart to limit their screen time, because it’s awkward to have actors with weight and charisma hanging around those who lack both.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/17/3987634/one-could-easily-forget-ton-cruises.html#storylink=cpy