Merging together a modern day Chicago and an intergalactic world, Jupiter Ascending follows the life of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis); a ‘not-so-ordinary’ girl that was born upon a ship beneath a night sky where her namesake planet was in ascent. *cue film title*
By day Jupiter Jones leads a mundane life of toilet cleaning and housekeeping for her wealthy clients. But, by night, she leads an even more humdrum life inside her cramped home where she lives with her mother, aunt and a host of other relatives. Despite spending her days following the same strenuous routine, day in and day out, Jupiter cannot help but follow in her deceased father’s footsteps and yearn to see the stars. What she doesn’t realise is that there are some in the stars just as eager to see her.
In a bid to earn some extra money, Jupiter soon finds herself willing to ‘sell her eggs’ in the hopes of purchasing a telescope identical to her father’s. However, things don’t go according to plan and Jupiter is soon being flown to safety after an attack from a group of alien hitmen. Things only turn upside down some more with the introduction of Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a hunter genetically engineered from both human and animal DNA.
Once Jupiter and Caine have gained safety out of the city, Jupiter’s significance to the galactic visitors is uncovered, throwing her life out of balance and into the hands of an ancient interstellar family; the House of Abrasax. With each of the three Abrasax siblings desiring to use Jupiter for their own persona gains, she is soon fighting to survive whilst doing all she can to protect both her family andher planet.
If you are still craving your monthly fix of sci-fi, fantasy, romance, action and Channing Tatum shirtless, then look no further! This latest blockbuster from the Wachowski’s has mashed them all together for your entertainment… or so they say.
With the assurance of eye candy in the form of Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, this film’s initial trailer release promised constant action and ‘out of this world’ cinematography all within a few short minutes. Unfortunately, like many other films, it was built up just to be brought down. Whilst the film’s action was plenty, and there was indeed many a scene including partial nudity, it became difficult to positively rave about this film by the time the credits rolled.
Anyone who began this film with high expectations cannot be blamed given the mark that was labelled on it from the start considering it was created by the same masterminds behind The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Unfortunately, the Wachowski siblings failed in providing a similar depth in Jupiter Ascending that they had managed to provide in their previous blockbusters. While The Matrix continued to question aspects of our socio-political ideologies throughout the trilogy, this new sci-fi action film merely fell flat when attempting to mimic the same complex plots of many other Wachowski films. Although the film leaves the viewer questioning many aspects of the film by the time it finishes, there are far too many to consider it a positive reaction.
Many interlinked storylines are attempted within Jupiter Ascending but it only proved too much and can be considered seemingly unnecessary to the overall plot. One plot factor in particular is the constant comparison between Jupiter and the late Abrasax mother. This truly proves to be an uncomfortable inclusion for the film as it drags on, particularly when Jupiter begins interacting with relatives of this deceased ‘doppelganger’. The concept of said comparison was a genius take on various scientific theories from the directors considering the research that must have been undertaken, but it still wasn’t executed as well as we might have hoped given the previous excitement for the film as a whole.
Negative views aside, I found myself continuing to watch this haphazard romance slash sci-fi to simply indulge myself in the brilliance of its cinematography. From the film’s beautiful score to the elaborate costumes revolved around the galactic characters, I was as aesthetically satisfied as I was whenever Queen Amidala changed costumes. If I were to score the film solely on its detailed visuals and forgetting the failed plot entirely, I would give it numerous stars for the attention to detail in this fictional universe.
Despite Jupiter Ascending being one of the lone films where I’ve enjoyed the acting of Channing Tatum, it was yet another failed attempt at playing off romance as a mere subplot to the film’s narrative. With numerous occasions of cringing at the romantic and suggestive dialogue, it wasn’t long before the rest of the film became just as cliché with many scenes turning predictable from the start.
Whilst this film has been slated and reviewed in many a negative light, Jupiter Ascending obviously did not meet the audience’s expectations but it still succeeded in some form of entertainment. Whether it was Eddie Redmayne’s coarse voice – which scarily resembled that of Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter – or Channing Tatum’s flying around in space boots whilst dressed like a wolf that smashed the box office upon the film’s release, or the star studded cast, it is undeniable that this film was brought up too high. If it had not been surrounded with so much excitement, and expectations from the directing duo, it may have received another star from this disappointed writer.
Directors: The Washowskis
Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean
Running Time: 127 minutes
DVD Release Date: 29th June 2015