In 2017, Earth was attacked by aliens known as Scavengers. They destroyed the moon (which only made it more beautiful, kinda like a manly scar), which caused all sorts of natural disasters. Nuclear war against the scavengers also rendered Earth largely uninhabitable.
As the 5 minute voiceover so helpfully clarifies, “we won the war, but lost the planet”.
The year is now 2077, and Tom Cruise is Jack Harper, a drone technician, in charge of maintaining weaponised drones equipped to seek out the last remaining scraps of scavengers, and protect machinery built to extract Earth’s resources for use.
Most of humanity now either reside in the Tet (a space station Jack’s scheduled to return in the next 3 weeks), or on Titan, Saturn’s moon, where we’ve colonized. He works in a team with lover Victoria, but often dreams of a hotter woman at night. His dream abruptly turns into reality when a spaceship Odyssey crashes on Earth, carrying a number of sleeping capsules with humans in hibernation, in one of which lays Julia (Olga Kurylenko).
Obviously, by this stage, the director clearly wants us to ponder over these questions: Who is this mysterious woman he dreams of? Why did the drones attack the humans in the sleeping capsules? Are the aliens really defeated? Where does Morgan Freeman get his cigars in a post apocalyptic world? How long more till the movie ends?
Like Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski manages builds a really beautiful world, with awesome looking tech laid out on a barren, desolate landscape. It’s his sense of pacing and story development that’s sorely lacking, and results in a film that feels 20 minutes too long.
Besides ogling at the half destroyed moon and the awesome architecture, there’s really not much else going for it.
Also, the climax is so anti-climatic and borderline dumb, you’d actually have enjoyed the movie better if you left the cinema with 10 minutes to go.
Come to think of it, the entire movie seemed like a bet Joseph Kosinski took up, to have an alien invasion film, without ever showing any aliens. Challenge Accepted!
Movie would have been a 4 if not for the other bright spark in the film: Olga Kurylenko