Saturday, February 7, 2015

Movie Review: "Jupiter Ascending"

The Wachowskis' struck gold with The Matrix, but their latest sci-fi film, Jupiter Ascending, just lacks a lot of what made their Matrix trilogy so remarkable.

The film tells the story of Jupiter Jones, a maid in Chicago played by Mila Kunis, who is rescued from alien assassins by Channing Tatum on hover roller skates because the genes in her body make her the owner of the Earth.  Okay, that's the thing that Jupiter Ascending does all too often, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  I am always for original scripts not based off of pre-existing properties, but this movie was a hodge podge of ideas, that are all intriguing on the surface, but never gel to make a cohesive whole.  Channing Tatum's character, Caine, never really has much of a personality, and Mila Kunis is basically playing herself as Jupiter, which is fine, but she isn't all that believable either at selling the weird concepts of the film.  Then there's the focus on the politics of why the Earth is so important, as is shown through these three super wealthy alien siblings who are all wanting to kill Jupiter and take ownership of the Earth in their own ways.

I'll just say it,  Jupiter Ascending will probably scratch the itch if you want to see some pretty special effects action sequences, but don't expect a story and characters that you will fall in love with.  There is just a flatness to everything.  All style and idea, with no humanity.  The romance that supposedly drives Jupiter and Caine is completely unbelievable in how quickly they fall in love and that makes it impossible to buy into.  Ultimately, the movie just took itself too seriously and never really allowed for much humor.  A movie like this would have been so much better had they just kind of turned it into a bit of a Guardians of the Galaxy-type comedy/action hybrid.  We need the characters to take their situations seriously, but if they're making jokes while in the thick of the serious moments, it allows us as the audience to have fun and not be bored.  This is something too many blockbusters fail to grasp and it's the main reason I think Jupiter Ascending just doesn't work.

I give Jupiter Ascending a 4 out of 10!

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