Feb 6, 2015

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending [2015]

Jupiter Ascending
Directed by: The Wachowskis
Runtime: 125 mins
Cast: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, James D'Arcy, Douglas Booth
Nominations: none, but I'd give all the Razzies

RRR: 3.6/10 Letter-grade: D

When it comes to creation of cult movies, The Wachowski siblings are among few directors who created something so outstanding that it still defines the genre - I mean The Matrix Trilogy. Then it was Cloud Atlas with rave reviews and my personal favorite. Logically, I expected something very extraordinary, that would blow my mind in any ways their films do. Honestly, the casting of Jupiter Ascending should be giving a clear vision of what would the movie look like. 

Movie starts with introducing Russian immigrant Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) waking up at 4:30 in the morning, rushing to her job which merely includes cleaning toilets of rich people. She's obviously hating her life, because there is nothing happening until some unearthly creatures try to assassinate her at the hospital. Being saved by ex-military member named Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) she learns that one of the members of galaxy's most influential families wants her dead. Balem (Eddie Redmayne) has inherited Earth after his mother's mystical death. His other sibling Titus (Douglas Booth) wants to take over control on our planet, because it is such a treasure. The reason why Jupiter needs to be killed is that she is a reincarnation of Balem's mother and accordingly the sole owner of the planet, meanwhile Titus is trying to save her, marry her and claim the title. For that reason, he sent Caine as a savior. 

And here starts Miss Jones's voyage through galaxies to meet her "family" and prove that she owns the Earth, in order to keep it safe. As visually spectacular Jupiter Ascending is, as messy the story seems. It's two hours of Jupiter's stupid decisions, number of drama scenes between Wise and her, tons of fights and flights. 
What Wachowskis did here is making a visually stunning motion picture, a bunch of beautiful images and views on cosmos. I appreciate that, I wished Nolan did the same in Interstellar. But visuals can not be everything in the film, because those colorful clouds and stunning planets get boring after an hour and you are left with the most illogical plot ever.

Basically, if you've watched Thor and some other similar films, you know every "plot twist" in Jupiter Ascending. Everything here is so predictable - you know when the main characters make stupid decisions, when they are saved, when they fall in trouble and the way it ends. Looks like director/writer siblings did not try to think of something new that would genuinely be remembered. Instead, they went with a lot of bla-bla-bla dialogues, naming tons of different names and families, you won't remember in couple of minutes and need not to remember. Characters are ultimate boring and cliche. We have here: a pretty girl who is so important and needs to be saved - that would be Jupiter Jones; a brave soldier who's just doing his job but falls with the main character - Wise; an old military friend who is always there - Stinger (Sean Bean); an evil man with enormous ego - Balem; disobedient sibling - Titus; creatures that convince us that not everyone in the universe look like us - the crocodile things and a lot of soldiers and inter galaxy armies who do nothing at all.
The eye candy cast is doing its job - eye cand-ing. Mila Kunis proves that she's a pretty face some guys love to see on the screen and even though she's actually cute, her face or emotions never change. Tatum and Redmayne do their MUSTS - shirtless scenes. I even tweeted that I love Eddie since I saw him in Les Miserable, but he was frighteningly awful in here. He was the most average villain in terms of everything - from facial expressions to voicing and gestures. I expected so much more.

There is one moment I really liked - the scene where Jupiter is trying to claim her title and interacts with galactic bureaucracy is hilarious. Even her lawyer, who is a robot, gets irritated and tries to bribe people to make it faster. This is probably the only interesting thing this movie tries to demonstrate.

Costumes and make-up were also notably well done. Some outfits did indeed impressed, especially those worn by Queen Jupiter - a while dress with red flowers.
If one wants to praise directors, this would solely be about the universe they created, which suggests not much new, but it is very spectacular with brilliant mixture of colors and stunning production design. For that reason, I am angry. I am angry as a fan of Wachowskis, I am angry as a fan of 4 their biggest films and I am angry as a movie goer. Even if no one claimed it would be a masterpiece, I still expected something genuinely memorable. The only memorable thing about Jupiter Ascending was my disappointment.

To conclude, Jupiter Ascending is the only movie where Sean Bean should have been dead. That's it.

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At Feb 6, 2015, 10:45:00 PM , Anonymous ruth said...

Hi Nika! I've just started drafting my review for this and we might end up w/ a similar rating. It's godawful and Redmayne should win a Razzie here for the unintentionally hilarious and cringe-worthy performance. Tatum is not much better and seriously his shirtless scenes are as annoying as the preposterous plot.

Ahah, I LOVE your last line, Sean Bean really should have died early on, though I doubt even that would save this flick!

At Feb 7, 2015, 4:26:00 AM , Anonymous Nika said...

Hi Ruth! Glad we agree on Redmayne and the film itself. Both were such disappointments.

Yeah, that was the first thing that poped out in my mind when I finished watching. And nothing could save this film, at all.

I'l be reading your review. Wanna know your exact thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.

At Feb 10, 2015, 9:49:00 PM , Anonymous ruth said...

Hi Nika, my review is up now. Yeah I don't get why some people call it an *original* premise, heh nothing original about it! It's self-plagiarism from the Wachowskis own work.

At Feb 10, 2015, 9:50:00 PM , Anonymous Nika said...

I've just read it. I guess we agree on everything there!

At Feb 17, 2015, 9:17:00 PM , Anonymous Elliot Newton said...

Oh, yes. Eddie Redmayne was indeed awful in this. I think the worst thing in this film was the dialogue, it was pretty horrible.

At Feb 17, 2015, 9:19:00 PM , Anonymous Nika said...

Indeed. Dialogues were very primitive and "love-story"-ish.


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