Typical sci-fi fare for Cruise in Oblivion

This latest sci-fi epic is typical post-apocalyptical fare but be sure to have your wits about you as things go from strange to confusing - fast!

Earth is reduced to a radiation-poisoned wasteland by a pernicious race called Scavs.

Survivors are evacuated to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, leaving behind small teams to protect the giant machines that extract vital resources to power mankind’s new home.

Drone maintenance officer Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his partner, tech operator Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), are two weeks away from retirement on Titan when he rescues an astronaut (Olga Kurylenko) from a crashed space shuttle.

This gung-ho act, in direct violation of orders from controller Sally (Melissa Leo), brings the former Marine into contact with a grizzled resistance leader, Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman), and his right-hand man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

“It’s time to learn the truth,” booms Malcolm, hinting at a convoluted conspiracy.

Based on the graphic novel by Joseph Kosinski and Arvid Nelson, Oblivion is a ponderous post-apocalyptic thriller that allows the leading man to perform impressive acrobatics amid a blitzkrieg of expensive pyrotechnics and digital effects.

Cruise’s portentous voiceover is matched by an orchestral score peppered with discordant rumbles.

Freeman is wasted in a malnourished supporting role, while Riseborough and Kurylenko shed perfectly shaped tears on cue.

Director Joseph Kosinski, who previously made TRON: Legacy, orchestrates the pivotal action sequences with breathless aplomb, including an aerial chase in a spacecraft that gimbals at stomach-churning speed.

Looks aren’t everything, though, and the script’s philosophical musings about humanity and self-sacrifice are almost as flimsy as the central love triangle that fails to ignite the emotional afterburners for a slam-bang finale.

Oblivion is out now (Cert 12, 126 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £26.99/Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray £29.99)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, Zoe Bell.