The trailer: Universal Studios is taking a gamble on Oblivion, a Tom Cruise-starring sci-fi thriller coming next April from the director of Tron: Legacy. "The last Super Bowl was played right here," says Cruise in the film's trailer, standing in the center of an obliterated football stadium, evidence of the devastation the Earth has suffered in a decades-long war with a mysterious alien race. (Watch the trailer for Oblivion below.) Though we know from the official synopsis that Cruise plays one of the "last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth," and thus a sort of everyman, Oblivion's trailer is light on plot and heavy on atmosphere, showing off the dystopian splendor of the ruined planet. Will Oblivion be the next Inception, or the next John Carter?
The reaction: Judging from the trailer, Oblivion "sports all the flashy imagery one would hope for from an adventure of this scale," says Matt Patches at Hollywood.com, but "whether Cruise can embody humanity in this epic sci-fi" is a question that remains to be answered. "I have trouble buying Cruise as the last everyman on Earth," says Russ Fischer at Slashfilm, but if audiences can get past that incongruity, this sci-fi dystopia "looks pretty appealing."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Are hedge funds doomed?
Subscribe to the Week