Oblivion doesn't really have an idea in its pretty pretty head that you can't point to another science-fiction movie and say, "Hey I see you there!" But what the hell, I was never bored. Lulled happily by the truly spectacular visuals (see this sucker in IMAX if anything folks) and the thrumming humming bombast and beauty of the score by M83, I kind of stopped listening to the dialogue altogether once I realized it existed mostly as canned exposition and cheese, so much cheese, and enjoyed the film as a spectacle of pure light and lines and synthesized sound. It's one of the prettiest movies you're gonna see this year, I will just say that out-right. I prefer this visual palette of grays and blues and whites to the one director (and architecture teacher!) Joseph Kosinski conjured for Tron: Legacy, and even though T:L often bored me to death I liked the look of that film quite a lot in itself.
Also superior as far as these things go, and heaven curse me for what I'm about to say, is leading man Tom Cruise over Tron's Garrett Hedlund. Hedlund proved himself really very promising with On the Road, but he seemed flat if not swallowed whole by Tron, while Cruise, all teeth and bullfrogged-out brawn, knows how to center this sort of ridiculous spectacle in his sleep. He is a ridiculous spectacle - watch his reaction shots in the Star Wars-esque spaceship versus drones canyon-bound gun-fight and see what Ham really is, and all that it can be. But it works, for what it is. He believes the crazy enough to make you believe the crazy. (Not surprising that intensity doesn't work off screen in the act of being a human being, but it's got its plusses with regards to big-budget Hollywood baloney.)
Working on a whole different level - one that's actually substantially good - is Andrea Riseborough, who I really hope starts getting real work one of these days instead of movies where she has to come in and be so much better than the movie she's in deserves. She slips humanity into the background, and sells a whopper of a sad, mistaken lady.
So yeah it's dumb, it's super dumb, and often really redundant story-wise too - a clone of a clone, if you will - but I found myself appreciating it as a cool numb surface thing all the same. If it came out at the end of Summer, after all the other stupid movies had burned my goodwill to cinder, perhaps I'd not have had the patience for it, but that's not the way this cookie crumbled.