Jupiter Ascending (2015)
What humans don’t realize is that we aren’t originally from Earth. In the Great Red Eye of Jupiter lives the royal Abrasax family who owns the entire solar system. When the queen is murdered, her 3 children, Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Titus (Douglas Booth) and Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) are heirs to everything… except Earth. It appears that human beings are “harvested” by this royal family in order to use the energy to keep their unending youth. The constant changing of the body to be more youthful increases the likely hood that a human somewhere in the galaxy could have the same exact DNA as one of the royals, and this is where Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) comes into the equation. You see, before the queen was murdered, she left Earth to her future, reincarnated self in her Will so her greedy children couldn’t get it. This means that poor unaware Jupiter Jones who lives in Chicago cleaning toilets for a living is the sole owner of Earth, and without her permission, Earth can not be harvested for it highly concentrated energy source. The race is on for either Balem, Titus or Kalique to trick Jupiter into giving up Earth before the others can interfere. Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) is the Lycanton – half human, half werewolf – who is hired by Titus to capture Jupiter, but when he discovers what is truly going on, he is the only one who can protect her!
If you couldn’t already tell from the lengthy synopsis, Jupiter Ascending isn’t exactly the easiest movie to explain. This is common when a movie changes the norms of what you naturally expect by creating an alternate existence in a sci-fi story. I usually love this kind of universe as it reminds me of Star Wars, Deus Ex, Dungeons & Dragons, and Mass Effect all thrown into one! If any of you have seen the trailer for this movie, you will know how gorgeous this is. It might be one of the best visually stunning movies I’ve ever seen… and I see a lot! However, does the special effects make for a good movie?
As a movie goes, Jupiter Ascending is an interesting one. I enjoyed the complex story and the alternate universe it creates, however, I didn’t like how it is presented. For the first hour of the movie, the audience is pretty much left in the dark scratching their heads wondering WHY Jupiter is so special. The first half is heavy in character development and action, but that’s about it. Would it have been so hard to have a narrator explain a little bit about the universe before the movie started??? If you clue the audience in at the beginning, they will be more invested!!! Once the 2nd half takes off where Jupiter has made it into space, every scene adds more and more to the story to a point that it’s overload. The amount of dialogue and repetition could have been avoided through simple narration but it does get the point across… but perhaps too late.
Looking at Jupiter Ascending as a whole, I rather enjoyed it. I could have done without some of the repetition we see when it comes to each of the heirs trying to get Jupiter, but for the most part, the movie isn’t that long. Sure it could have been 15-20 minutes shorter but at 125 minutes, the action fills in the gaps nice. My advice would be to NOT see this in 3D as the amount of stuff going on gave me a headache, but that is personal preference. At the end of the day, if you are a fan of sci-fi action, this won’t be a waste of time, but if you are still bitter over The Matrix Reload (also by the Wachowski Brothers) then you might want to enter with caution. Co-starring Sean Bean and Maria Doyle Kennedy.
7/10 Stars – Sure it has its narrative flaws, but there is no denying its beauty and fun sci-fi action!