Jupiter Ascending (Film Review)

Feb 7, 2015
I have a love-hate relationship with the Wachowskis. 'The Matrix' is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi films, but not so much with its 2 sequels. I thought 'Cloud Atlas' is too convoluted, and you might hate me for this: 'Speed Racer' was very undderated. With their latest directorial effort, 'Jupiter Ascending', it looks as though this will be the film that will put them back on the map. It is an ambitious, original concept from the filmmakers, and the universe they've created could make a decent franchise in the form of say-Star Wars. But sadly, the film was too pulpy and poorly written for my taste.

The film starts off with Jupiter (Mila Kunis) and how she hated her life because she cleans houses for a living. But things go interesting when  human/ wolf hybrid Caine (Channing Tatum) come in and told her that she was part of an intergalactic royalty, kind of like Neo in 'The Matrix', except Jupiter is a much weaker character to be called for such title. The movie turned into a string of table meetings and squabble on planet ownership... and that's about it.
Fair enough, 'Jupiter Ascending' is visually appealing. The designs of the different planets and aliens was impressive. The Wachowskis really know how to create out-of-the-box production designs and flavor to their films. But no matter how visually spectacular this was, the story they're setting up is a big mess.

There's no emotional attachment to the characters, nor actual personality to the film's lead. Mila Kunis has barely nothing to offer to this aside from screaming for her life once something dangerous happens to her, actually waiting for her bodyguard Channing Tatum to save the day. It's a waste of character, considering the Wachowskis could actually make a better arc for her just like Trinity in the 'Matrix' films.
Channing Tatum felt like the only one I cared for here. And yet, we didn't get to know him that much. Sean Bean was a welcome addition as well. Eddie Redmayne, who is now the frontrunner for Best Actor at the Oscars for his terrific transformation as Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything', is just the worst. Redmayne was easily laughable at the same time very cringe-worthy for his one-sided villainous character. The guy has nothing to do but to shout once in a while, and actually looks like he's bored to death filming this movie.

The movie really has a potential to be great. The action sequences alone made the experience an exciting one, but the world the Wachowskis established wasn't fully explored. Otherwise, focuses on the uninteresting political aspect of this world that drags the movie to a whole new level. The best film to compare this to is: 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace', a visually exciting sci-fi in a welcoming universe that doesn't take advantage of it, filling it with terribly-written political squabbles in between.

The geek rates it 4/10.
'Jupiter Ascending' is now showing in cinemas and IMAX nationwide locally distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures!
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