Synopsis

Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people's houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along - her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

Director

Lilly Wachowski

Cast

Mila Kunis
as Jupiter Jones
Channing Tatum
as Caine Wise
Sean Bean
as Stinger Apini
Eddie Redmayne
as Balem Abrasax
Douglas Booth
as Titus Abrasax
Tuppence Middleton
as Kalique Abrasax
Nikki Amuka-Bird
as Diomika Tsing

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lnvicta 4 /10

Not for fans of substance, Jupiter Ascending is a glossy, entertaining, hot mess.

I'm not sure how to start this review so I'll just get right into it: This movie isn't good. It makes no sense. There is no room to get immersed in this world because there is no story to relate to. It's all just stuff happening; fluff. Beautiful, well made fluff mind you, but at its core this movie is a steaming hot mess.

Here's the plot from what I gathered: Mila Kunis is suddenly the majesty of the Earth and has to protect it from a bunch of rich douchebags that live in Jupiter's atmosphere who want to use it for harvesting grounds or something. It's a dumb plot, and every scene that tries to move the plot forward is a scene wasted. The only interesting parts of this movie are the visuals and Channing Tatum's character, but even he is given absolutely no character development. He's just a badass space agent, or something. I don't even remember.

The characters end up the same way they began - there was no journey to redemption or revelation for anyone. It was just do this, do that, stop this, go home, the end. And they try to include multiple stories, like Mila Kunis' relationship with her family (boooring); Caine (Tatum) and Stinger's (Sean Bean) history (wholly underdeveloped), the whole villain arc...

The villains in this movie are spoiled brats. Seriously. They're not scary, they're not intimidating, there was no point in the movie where I was like "oh man sh*t is about to go down"; there was just no intrigue. Their motives were all over the place. It's not worth trying to piece together every plot point they throw into the movie because it will just lead to confusion and disappointment, and eventually frustration when you realize how much potential was wasted in creating this massive universe. The lizards looked really cool. Why not have more of them? Oh we're just going to focus on the playboy brat now, okay.

I really wanted to care about this universe. It has a Star Wars vibe in parts, like the "royal" wedding scene and the space battles, but there were no good characters to experience this adventure with. You're just watching things happen with no consequences, or at least none you cared about.

The acting was fine in this movie. Channing Tatum and Sean Bean in particular gave great performances, and Eddie Redmayne as the primary antagonist was decent as well. Yeah, he's an Academy Award winner, and as much as I hate to say it I have not seen The Theory of Everything yet but I loved him in Les Mis so I was really hoping he would save this movie. Unfortunately the material he's given is absolute garbage, so in an effort to make the character stand out, Redmayne give him a weird, eerie, whisper voice that was akin to a hundred year old man trying to force words out from the back of his throat. But hey, I think it worked. The guy is completely unlikeable so might as well give him a unique trait to remember him by. Good on Mr. Redmayne because he succeeded. The only things I will remember about this movie are the cool visuals, the wasted potential, and his creepy voice.

Don't see this movie. Unless you want to see some really great CGI for a couple hours, which can be found in much better places by the way, you won't find anything worth salvaging from Jupiter Ascending. It was a nice effort but ultimately a swing and a miss.

Reviewed by cadillac20 6 /10

An ambitious, epic universe marred by one dimensional characters and a stumbling script

When I give this film a 6, it's being a bit generous. Trying to put myself in other people's shoes, I'd say this film probably range anywhere from a 3 to a 5, and then there will be those who hate it. Still, I am likely to lean on the side of one of the few who likes the film. But it's a mixed bag. Sure enough, the special effects, action, and other elements are fantastic. But the film does little to develop it's own character beyond their archetypes and the script seems content to stay average at best.

Jupiter Ascending actually paints a pretty fascinating sci-fi universe. As it turns out, Earth, and thousands of other worlds like it, are owned by a number of different families which act like corporations who seed these worlds. Once the worlds become over populated, their people are harvested to create a youth serum which keeps those living in the corporate society young for millennia after millennia. In this case, the Abraxis family is one of the most powerful and each of three heirs is vying for control of Earth. Standing in their way, however, is Jupiter Jones, who turns out to be the genetic reincarnation of the Abraxis' sibling's mother, and claimant to the throne of the family.

If all of that sounds like a lot to take in, it is, and easily the best part of the film. The Wachowski's have a talent for creating fascinating worlds that feel complete. Here, they have created a massive sci-fi universe the likes of which we haven't seen in at least a decade, maybe longer. It's very clear that their ambition extends beyond just this one story. In fact, there are hundreds of fascinating stories that could be told about this universe. The idea of a corporate controlled universe is timely, and where we've seen this story played out before about the giant corporation versus the little guy, it's never quite been told on this scale.

It's a shame then that this ambition is wasted on a story that doesn't seem to capitalize on such a universe. The story is good, but the script is lacking and the characters never really become all that interesting. They end up feeling like caricatures meant to introduce us to this world we've entered. They're histories are explained and they clearly have fleshed out back stories, but they feel almost lifeless in that they seem to be here only to be an aspect of this world and not a full character. Even as a lead character, Channing Tatum as Caine feels like little more than a body meant to perform choreography and defend Milas Kunis' Jupiter. At the very least, Jupiter is a sympathetic character who shows shades of change, but even she often feels like little more than a narrator meant to ask question for exposition purposes. Eddie Redmayne seems to have the juiciest part, and though he still seems to be a one dimensional villain, he shows emotional depth that the other characters lack.

Most people I suspect will have trouble forgiving the lack of a truly meaningful script and characters that are too one dimensional. But the good news is that the film isn't a complete loss. The action, which the Wachowski's have proved to have a handle on, is fantastic. This is Star Wars level stuff, with space battles and well choreographed martial art duels. The cool tech thrown in, like the gravity boots, add some imaginative spice that once again shows the Wachowski's propensity for finding ways to justify making a 12 year old's imagination a reality. It's some truly fun stuff. Likewise, the world we're introduced to looks fantastic. The special effects make believable some very interesting and exciting details, such as the multitude of gadgets and weapons we're witness to. It's clear that the Wachowski's have set out to create a unique universe, and in my estimation, they have succeeded. I'm a sucker for this kind of world crafting, and so they get higher marks from me.

Of course, I can see why the film was pushed back to the dumping grounds of February. This was meant to be a summer blockbuster, but up against so many big, successful films, it would have a hard time competing. I have the distinct feeling this is going to be a film that gets left behind this year, especially in favor of bigger films being released throughout 2015. Had the film been more focused on it's characters and less on exposition of the universe we're witnessing, then I feel it could have succeeded and become a modern sci-fi classic. But as is, it falls short. Honestly, I do hope for a sequel to this, if only to see this universe continue to get development. Perhaps a sequel would fulfill the ambition the Wachowski's clearly seek to build upon.

Reviewed by QuentinCrisp 8 /10

Not a classic of the genre but very entertaining

This film is basically a mash-up of Dune, John Carter and Doctor Who (and quite a few others). And a very well made and hugely entertaining mash-up at that. I enjoyed it. Not a classic of the genre but very entertaining - although I can understand some people getting upset at not being able to follow the somewhat demanding, fast paced, multi-level story, whispered dialogue, and unconventional narrative. I especially liked the neat blend of science fiction and fantasy and the nice fairy tale vibe. I loved those dragons. I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed Blade Runner and The Fifth Element. It certainly does not deserve some of the ridiculously negative reviews that I have seen. Which just goes to show it is all a question of personal taste I suppose.

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