Action Jupiter Ascending Channing Tatum Mila Kunis

Published on May 6th, 2015 | by The Horse

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Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending (2015) The Horse

Jupiter Confusing

Summary:
Directors:
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowskis)
Writers:
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowskis)
Starring:
Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Terry Gilliam (cameo)
 Jupiter Ascending
(2015) on IMDb

2


User Rating: 1.6 (1 votes)

Born under an auspicious star sign, Jupiter Jones is a Russian immigrant in the Promised Land of America. She’s an unremarkable house cleaner played by a remarkably beautiful actor (Mila Kunis).

Because of this, we know she is The Chosen Oneeven though she spends a lot of time holding a toilet brush and protesting that she isn’t.

At first, how she’ll achieve greatness is unclear. Nothing in Jupiter Ascending’s first 30 minutes is clear. It’s essentially Cinderella in space – but beyond the film’s repurposing of the fairy tale, it’s a clusterfuck.

The first act happens virtually without explanation. And as is the Wachowski’s wont, a LOT happens. This includes, but is not limited to, a plethora of characters, an alien abduction, a sinister intergalactic version of the Rothschilds, universe-wide conspiracies, clever bees, soldiers, bounty hunters and self-healing buildings.

Jupiter wants to know what the hell’s going on, as do we, but if this is a deliberate conceit to create audience alignment with her character (we’re just as confused as you honey!), it’s a big fucking ask.

Channing Tatum has a well-intentioned turn as wolfy Caine Wise. His appeal as a rugged love interest is deserved, but he’s not doing much here besides sporting ridiculous eybrows, growling, and/or wearing flying rollerblades.

Sean Bean plays Stinger Apini, Caine’s equally handsomely hardbitten brother-in-arms. He pop ups almost arbitrarily about halfway through, possibly to explain the bees. He’s genetically spliced with a bee or something. Ohhh! Ha. Stinger. I’ve just got it.

Kunis/Jupiter/Cinderella should be the kickass Action Girl, but ends up rather passive. Much like the original Cinders she’s perennially confused and mostly waiting to be rescued by someone with a penis. She’s not strong enough in acting chops or her characterisation to carry the film – and that’s her (and the writer-directors’) job.

The show is left to be stolen and taken for a joyride by Eddie Redmayne’s fire-and-ice Balem, the eldest son of the Abrasax family – a dynasty who are all richer than gods and twice as crazy. Like everything else, what he’s doing and why is often incoherent, but it’s one hell of a watch. Clearly having a ball, he lurches at will between noble royal and tyrannical Caligula.

Undoubtedly, Jupiter Ascending is stunning to look at. The first set-piece is a dizzying dogfight through the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago – one suspects the Wachowskis are trying hard (too hard) to have another Bullet Time Moment.

The Wachowskis are known for stealing borrowing from everywhere (cough*The Invisibles*cough), and that’s exactly what they do here. It’s a heady cocktail of sci-fi: Dune, Soylent Green, Gundam, Flash Gordon, Twilight, and more, are either referenced or get the full Wachowski magpie treatment.

Yet they do manage to put their own stamp on Jupiter Ascending – a dizzyingly over-ambitious Wachowskian space opera. To many critics, Jupiter Ascending will be nothing more than a mawkish exercise in girly wish-fulfilment… Which it is. Even down to the ludicrous costume porn. But to suggest that this is unequivocally a bad thing is kind-of missing the point.

Is it a folly? Almost certainly. But when viewed simply as something for the Twilight generation to swoon at, it’s actually quite fun, and might do brisk business in the teen market, providing they’re not put off by the paper-thin lead character. As long as they don’t have epilepsy. Or get motion sickness.

With some clever repackaging, future generations might come to view this with kitschy appreciation. But I don’t think this is how the film was conceived, nor is it the way it will be marketed. For now it’s better to view it for what it is: a hot mess. 

+ 🙂 Ascending
The Wachowskis know their shit with sci-fi visuals
+ 🙁 Descending
You’ll be watching most of it with a WAT? Meme face on


Look Ma! I’m queen of the world!

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