Entertainment

“Jupiter Ascending” is a Colossal Mess

……but Channing Tatum has the coolest anti-gravity surfing boots. Those are legit.

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In a movie that almost felt like 3 hours, this silly movie tried to be so many different things at the same time: a fantasy, a sci/fi action movie, a space opera, a love story, and, at least attempting, a controversial film. What happens when you try to please everyone? Your message is lost and the meaning behind the story is muddled.

Let’s be honest, the Wachowski Siblings’ (formerly Wachowski Brothers) last good film they directed was “The Matrix”. Heck, that’s actually the only good film they’ve ever directed. They have written “V for Vendetta” which actually rocked but they haven’t accomplished much else since 1999.

I’m supposed to give a brief synopsis of the film but if I gave any synopsis it would be anything but brief. I will then give you a partial synopsis. A maid named Jupiter (Mila Kunis) finds out that she is part of this space royalty and the current heirs to these “harvestable” worlds want her for different reasons. You see, she is an exact genetic makeup of someone that once existed. Channing Tatum is the hunter initially sent to retrieve her for one of the heirs. If I give any more plot points, I’d be giving away the surprises (if you want to call them that). The rest is just silly side stories that do nothing for the movie.

So what works? The special effects are top notch. That’s about it. What do you think of an action set piece when you aren’t invested in the characters to begin with? You’re bored essentially. How does this movie compare to say “Transformers”? It’s worse than that. Maybe if I was 10 years old I would love this movie but when you get older you become more cynical and realistic. You begin to obviously question the logic in things: a politician’s argument, your creepy uncle’s conspiracy stories, the plausibility of A to B without much explanation of how it got there, etc. You get the picture.jupiter_embed_2

I did find the performances rather alluring, albeit for the wrong reasons. Eddie Redmayne (pictured above & nominated this year for “The Theory of Everything”) chews up every scene with his grandpa with a cold impersonation. It’s remarkably effective and I want to see more of Redmayne in movies. Kunis and Tatum were okay but they were seriously hindered by the lines they had to give.

The writing is another problem all together. What is the purpose of this movie? You can’t just shotgun an idea. You have to focus it. There are so many side stories and characters that you’re introduced to for no real reason. So, Mila Kunis is from a Russian family that treats her like sh*t (her brother even tries to convince her to sell her eggs for money) yet in the end, she still cares about them and wants to continue being a maid even after all is said and done.

Then there’s Channing Tatum’s back story (half wolf/half human) that supposedly has a temper a times but never shows it on screen? Sean Bean plays a half bee dude/human who’s war buddies with Tatum. Kunis can control bees because she’s royalty or some sh*t. There’s aliens that somehow manage to make spaceships with artificial gravity on the planet Jupiter. Again, there’s no explanation.ja1

Also, there were Lizard aliens that looked like they were inspired from a worse movie, “Super Mario Brothers”. Yeah, thats one above with a leather biker jacket. Truly creative.

In summary, this is a Cinderella-esque, sci/fi, space opera that no one wants to see. Why can’t we have the look and budget of this film on say, I don’t know, a “Dune” reboot? A proven story that can be adapted properly to film. This movie is unforgivable.

Grade: D+

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