I was a fan of the Wachowski siblings. They are the bright minds responsible for The Matrix. They also produced the screen adaption of V for Vendetta. I found 2013’s Cloud Atlas to be an absolute masterpiece, though many others thought differently. So, I knew how good the Wachowski’s can be. Then I saw Jupiter Ascending.Unfortunately, I now know how terrible they can be.
Let’s start with the interminable plot. Mila Kunis stars as lonely, boring Jupiter Jones, who cleans houses along with her Russian family of idiots. After being saved by an exiled animal hybrid, super soldier from outer space (Channing Tatum), she discovers that she is the reincarnated mother of the Universe’s royal family and that the Earth is hers to inherit. The three heirs of the royal family (Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton, Douglas Booth) compete to abduct her and gain control of the planet even though the movie establishes early on that there are several other planets just like Earth. In a nut shell… it is the story of a petty, space sibling rivalry with Mila Kunis caught in the middle because she looks like their mom.
You can tell that the Wachowski’s put a lot of thought into all of this because there is loads of terminology, fancy technology, and weird alien worlds involved. But it is simply too much. So much information is crammed into the movie that it feels as if it is trying harder to establish its universe more than it is to actually produce a worthwhile story. Dull/annoying characters don’t help either. Jupiter is inconceivably naïve, and Mila Kunis can do nothing to save a character that spews dialogue like she’s Bella in Twilight. Eddie Redmayne (somehow the same guy who has been nominated for two Academy Awards) is downright insufferable as the film’s primary antagonist, who flamboyantly whispers every line for some reason. I’m guessing they wanted him to feel intimidating, and yet Mila Kunis physically beats him on more than one occasion.
When the movie isn’t shoving random aspects of its overly vast universe down your throat, it’s bombarding you with one loud, soulless CGI-laden action sequence after another. One scene, a chase through downtown Chicago, seems to go on forever. And even the action scenes provided by Channing Tatum’s Caine Wise, are ruined by an overkill slow motion effect. The character also seems to be a thorn in everyone’s side other than Jupiter’s, and yet everyone seems to do as little as possible to dispose of him (Why eject a person out of an airlock to kill him when you’re holding a gun?)
Make no mistake, this is no Star Wars or Fifth Element. It is CGI nonsense filled with B-movie characters and the most cliché action you can find. It’s 2015… at this point, any movie with a decent budget will have beautiful special effects, so here it hardly seems like a saving grace. It almost feels like going on a date with someone gorgeous, but who can’t spell their own name. Eventually you get tired of looking at them, and you just want to go home.
FINAL GRADE: Don’t waste time or money on this one…. F