In future, we are all going to be confused

editorial image

Oblivion (12A) Pavilion, Galashiels

The FUTUREis mystery. Sci-fi writers speculate on the destruction of the planet from alien invasion or nuclear armageddon.

Inevitably there will be a scruffy army of survivors doing the deep cave survival shuffle, while the outside world is policed by techno-savvy robot killer machines.

Oblivion wants to join in but is hampered by a script that implodes after eons of tedious confusion.

The only thing for certain is that someone has spent a fortune on special effects and Tom Cruise appears to play every part except those of the ladies (two).

The world has been wiped. Cities such as New York are rubble. It’s the year 2077 and what’s left of the population has been evacuated to the suburbs of Saturn.

On Earth, there are sophisticated outposts where trained operatives with drone fleets at their disposal check out the ruined landscape for scabs (aforementioned cavers).

Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of them, but he’s different. His memory has not been completely cauterised and he has dreams of a romantic past.

Don’t panic! Sex remains under the radar and the chemistry between Harper and the ladies fizzles to nothing.

Why you have to sit for two-and-a-half hours trying to work out what’s going on and wondering whether the excitement gene was extracted at birth is a bigger mystery.

Modern thrillers use visual shorthand to explain plot development, assuming that aficionados recognise the signposts.

It doesn’t work with sc-fi. There are no absolutes, only leaps of faith.

Oblivion leaps into oblivion. And there’s no way back.