Tom Cruise crosses the post-apocalyptic landscape (Oblivion)
In reality, Oblivion isn’t much of a movie. It suffers from the same syndrome of director Joseph Kosinski’s previous effort, Tron: Legacy, in that it looks absolutely gorgeous, but the story is empty, and there is zero emotional investment on the part of the audience. What Oblivion does have is tons of slick eye candy and breathtaking visuals. The most captivating shot in the entire film shows Tom Cruise’s repairman, Jack, riding his handy-dandy fold-out motorcycle through the ruined plains of Earth.
Watching him speed between the rusted out skeletons of cargo ships and submarines, leaving a single track in the charcoal and ash, is almost like watching a skier take the first morning run down the mountain after a heavy snow. Sparse and desolate, but also serene and haunting, in this moment you understand why Jack wants to stay on Earth. Even more so than the scenes where he hangs out at his backwoods cabin, here is where you most identify with his desire to remain instead of abandoning his home for a sterile, vacuum-sealed apartment in space.