Jupiter Ascending is a visual experience that’ll keep your eyes glued to the screen. No, I’m lying, and you’d probably need the surgical tool from A Clockwork Orange to keep your eyelids forced open and your head propped up during the movie, because this flick is one huge pyramid of burning money.
From the directors that brought us the considerably superior film, The Matrix, The Wachowskis have managed once again to besmirch the genre of Sci-Fi in an astounding orgy of plasma blasts and explosions. The story is about a reincarnated queen, Jupiter Jones, played by Mila Kunis, who is destined to inherit, among other things, sole ownership of the planet Earth, but must first contend with the current owner, a certain bi-polary Balem Abrasax, played by the recent Oscar-nominated actor, Eddie Redmayne, of her inheritance, who in several attempts sends spies and bounty hunters to murder her before she can reclaim her throne. Channing Tatum plays a canine-teeth-having, pointy-eared human-wolf hybrid gene splice thingamawhatever named Caine Wise, with unfathomable tracking and damsel-catching skills. Oh, and he has these cool anti-gravity boots that are basically rollerblades – I guess that was cool.
Follow Mila Kunis, a lowly servant, who is the only person with an inkling of character development, who narrates the first few entertaining minutes of this poorly written and unenjoyable story, but apparently loses these powers of narration moving forward in favor of gaining the new ability to be constantly kidnapped and saved for the rest of the film. The movie has an inconsistency of tone, Jupiter Jones’s family is a comedic tool, the bad guy, Balem, is easily forgettable, and the love story between Jupiter and Caine is skin deep and cosmetic.
Anyway, the Wachowskis manage by doing what they do best: special effects, baby. This is a live-action film that really nails down a lot of what makes cut-scenes in video games fun to watch. I think adults might look at this film and periodically check their wristwatch with a heavy sigh, but kids (who I don’t believe were the target audience) will probably stick around just to see something else goes BOOM. The kid in me enjoyed every second of these attractive set pieces, but once they were over, it was back to reality, in this case an other-worldly off-planet environment, I know; but despite being filled with a variety of humanoid species seemingly ripped from a nightmarish fairy tale, it was filled with uninteresting explanations about human origins, royal politics, and space-business mumbo-jumbo (so boring). This is one movie that should go straight to Redbox. It’s pretty bad, and it’s no John Carter.
Jupiter Ascending Review: Photos courtesy of www.jupiterascending.com