Jupiter Ascending – Review – 61/100

Jupiter Ascending Trailer

Eugh, you know when you want a film to be really good, and not just because I want all films to be good but because cinema is so devoid of original content on a big scale in the sci-fi genre that I just want something a bit different to be successful. Interstellar was the only film in the Top 10 Box Office last year that wasn’t an adaptation and this is a problem. Once upon a time a studio took a gamble on the Wachowski’s and we got The Matrix, a game changer to how action was presented, could they do it again this time???

You have to give the Wachowski’s credit, they know how to create an original universe as well as any modern sci-fi directors out there but as many predicted they don’t quite have the execution or depth of story to make something on the level of The Matrix, instead they try and make it as appealing to the masses for what I can only assume to be for box office takings.

In this particular universe we have an intergalactic squabble between siblings of universal royalty over who owns earth. Earth is important economically each of their respective empires due to an impending overpopulation… that is until human Jupiter Jones is discovered to have the same gene sequence as the Abrasax children and would supersede in inheriting the title of earth. Then we have what is mostly an extended chase sequence throughout two thirds of the film whereby Jupiter is saved over and over by disgraced military half man half wolf Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) while being tracked down by various intergalactic bounty hunters bounty hunters.

Positives

  • The action is innovative and effects are worth seeing. Most of the sequences are visually very unique accompanied by effects that are tantamount to visual crack.
  • Channing Tatum & Sean Bean do a good job at being ex military bad asses, it’s what we want and they give it to us.
  • The universe built is actually a pretty interesting one, shame I don’t think we’ll find out more about galactic structure of it all.

Negatives

  • The romance feels forced, unnecessary and could have been done without. For me the implied sexual tension between Tatum/Kunis would have been far more effective, in a sort of Mulder & Scully sort of way.
  • Script is dull/stupid/uninteresting at times, it’s a good job there’s a lot of action to make up for it.
  • Eddy Redmayne’s villain is just not that threatening. Any time you get kicked in the balls by Mila Kunis you lose multiple man points from me.
  • Some characters you think have relevance just disappear out of the film, so why have them in the first place?!
  • Went a bit OTT with the different species of aliens… when a man with an elephants head come one screen you know the film has delved into the realm of being a bit unnecessary.
  • The film is missing a final showdown with the villain and instead what we have was a crescendo with little impact.

This movie suffers most in the execution of the storytelling. It’s almost like they had this great basis for a universe but had a load of juveniles writing the script. It’s a sad time where the lowest common denominator in story telling is the go to model in an attempt to secure financial success. This is a movie that can be a little silly at times but ultimately will keep you far from bored, whether it’s Redmayne’s whispering villain or Tatum kicking ass in hover/skateboard boots to a vibrant Chicago skyline.

TL;DR

This is far from the space opera I wanted but is it a cluster-fuck of John Carter from Mars proportions? Not in the slightest. It is visually entertaining and if you can get past certain aspects of the story then this will fit into the ‘guilty pleasure’ watching of mindless action for the viewer. It’s a lot easier to pick holes in a film than to big it up when it’s a film like this but that shouldn’t put you off, I’d definitely give it a second viewing.

61/100

AJG

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