February 9, 2015
Jupiter Ascending (I keep wanting to say Rising) is the latest from the Wachowskis. Originally slated for release last summer, with blockbuster aspirations, it was delayed until now, February. The official line was the effects needed more work; however, I suspect that while that may be true, the studio did not have faith in the movie to succeed against its summer competition. I also think they shot a little bit more footage to flesh it out somewhat.
I found Jupiter Ascending to be something of a bore. I never felt invested or interested in it. The cast has little chemistry and the world does not seem to be built up all that well. It strikes me as a movie that has big aspirations and ideas but does not know how to execute them. I am of the mind that the Wachowskis' only great film is The Matrix, nothing else has really lived up that, despite the obvious ambitiousness of their projects. I would even put Cloud Atlas above this, and I was not particularly a fan of that, although I liked the wild ambition it contained. This one looks to get back to the ambitious action roots of The Matrix while making use of enhanced CG technologies.
Jupiter Ascending explores the idea that the Earth is not alone in the universe and was also not the birthplace of humanity. This movie puts our planet at the crux of a family dispute. It seems the universe has been carved into sections by some rich and powerful intergalactic dynasties, and everyone seems to want the Earth for it is rich in resources.
Where we come in is with a Russian cleaning lady named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis). It turns out she is the reincarnation of some big wig in the family fighting over planetary inheritances. This leads to a geneic hybrid named Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) to fight to protect her from people who want to kill her.
Blah, blah, blah. I never felt like the movie wanted to draw me in. There would be a scene of perfunctory exposition followed by an extended action sequence, wash, rinse, repeat. Jupiter never felt in awe or surprised by what she found, the space opera elements felt out of reach. It is like they combined Dune with the uppitiness of a period costume drama.
The one thing I can say I liked about it was the way they tied in our stories of abductions, that traditional alien abductor look and why no one seems to remember anything or believe those who do. I really liked that idea and how it was employed. Aside from that, this was a forgettable mash of candy colored effects with no heart.
Posted by Christopher Beaumont at 2/09/2015 02:05:00 PM
Labels: 2010s, 2015, Action, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, Mila Kunis, Movie Review, Science Fiction, Sean Bean, Theatrical Release, Wachowskis
Chris has been an avid movie watcher for decades, getting into the writing game in 2004. Since that time he has contributed to a number online publications as well as running CriticalOutcast.com. In addition to movies, Chris is a big fan of music, particularly metal, and will never give up hope on his beloved Mets.