Oblivion review

Tom Cruise's latest film aims for the stars with its awesome audio-visual credentials

The year is 2077 and the Earth lies in ruins following an invasion by an alien force. While humanity managed to win the war, it came at the cost of our world. The only humans remaining on Earth are Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Vica Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), a two-person technical team tasked with overseeing robot drones. But when a vessel crashes to Earth containing a mysterious woman (Olga Kurylenko) who haunts his dreams, Harper begins to realise that all is not as it seems.

In one of the extras on this Blu-ray, director Joseph (Tron: Legacy) Kosinski reveals that Oblivion was inspired by his love of The Twilight Zone. And there's the problem. While this reactionary sci-fi story would have made for a fine episode of the series, it's pretty much stretched to breaking point across the two-hour-plus running time of Oblivion.

Still, there's a lot to admire here – particularly the efforts made at world-building, which have resulted in a startlingly cohesive and utterly believable sci-fi landscape for the story and characters to inhabit. The visual effects are stunning.

Picture: Filmed on Sony CineAlta F65 and RED Epic digital cams, Oblivion touches down on Blu-ray with an AVC-encoded image that is the very definition of a perfect 1080p transfer.

The 2.40:1 visuals are razor-sharp at all times, boasting exquisite delineation and remarkable amounts of fine detail in every single shot. Colours veer towards the cooler end of the spectrum, giving the film's interiors a deliberately sterile look that is reproduced here flawlessly. Blacks are deep and stable, and crush is kept to an absolute minimum.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: While far from a traditional action blockbuster, Oblivion's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack is every bit the equal to the Blu-ray's astonishing image quality.

Environmental effects ensure that the surrounds are kept active throughout. Even better, though, is the incredible low-end grunt in the mix. As Jack's Bubbleship touches down in the abandoned stadium in Chapter 2, the roar of the thrusters sweeps over you from the rear to the front backed up by incredible sonic power.

To top it all, M83's electronic score sounds utterly sublime and is perfectly balanced. Another demo disc for your collection.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Director Joseph Kosinski joins Tom Cruise for Oblivion's audio commentary – and once the obligatory mutual appreciation is done with, it turns out to be a very informative track packed with info about every aspect of the production. Well worth a listen if you enjoyed the film.

Promise of a New World: Making Oblivion houses five behind-the-scenes featurettes covering the film's origin, the creation of the Bubbleship, stunts, visual effects and the film's score. Together they add up to about 48 minutes of content.

Finally, there are four deleted/alternate scenes and an isolated version of M83's score (albeit disappointingly presented in lossy DTS 5.1).
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: A spectacular audio-visual package ensures that this disc deserves a place in every home cinema fan’s collection

Oblivion, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £25 Approx