Jupiter Ascending is a new science fiction film which comes directed by the Wachowski’s (Andy/Lana) who some may know for their work on such films as The Matrix (1999) or Cloud Atlas (2012). The film stars Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.
Jupiter Ascending Trailer
The plot of Jupiter Ascending was something that I thought was a bit of a mess really. We are introduced to our main character Jupiter who is played by Mila Kunis, a cleaning lady who dreams of the stars, wanting nothing more than to one day purchase a telescope to look at them. But all that changes when then Caine (Channing Tatum) who is a genetically engineered soldier from outer space, saves Jupiter from a plot concocted by the evil Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne) who is trying to kill Jupiter. It turns out Jupiter has a claim (via a birthright) on the Earth which stops Balem from being able to harvest the humans on the planet (killing Jupiter would prevent her from being able to make her claim for the Earth), Jupiter is now stuck in the middle of some complicated space politics, but can Jupiter and Caine stop Balem’s evil plans and save the Earth? You’ll have to watch Jupiter Ascending to find out.
When I came out of the film I felt that maybe it could have been something really great but seemed maybe cut down or maybe even edited for some reason to make it more fun to watch, but its main message was lost in amongst the many action sequences and acts of heroism from Caine (Channing Tatum). According to the trivia section on IMDB it says that the script was over 600 pages long for Jupiter Ascending and maybe that explains why the film is a bit messy when it comes to the plot. Jupiter Ascending had good ideas when it came to space politics and the idea of these families controlling different things in the universe which I would have liked to have known more about and maybe it could have been better explained if the run time was longer. But the main villain Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne) seemed to me to be way too weak to be taken seriously and he spends the whole time whinging about his mother, “my mother this, my mother that”it got a bit annoying.
The tone of the film constantly changes as well, on the hero side, things are lighthearted throughout the majority of Jupiter Ascending, with Jupiter and Caine exchanging funny one liners here and there all the time. While there is also quite a funny scene when Jupiter and a few other characters travel to a place that I guess is supposed to be reminiscent of what it’s like to travel to the DMV in America and it’s fun to watch that. But at other times on the villain side, things are serious, it was like Eddie Redmayne was acting in a different film completely, why he was so over the top I have no idea but he ended up just being weird. In the cinema I was in people were laughing at the serious moments and that’s not that good I don’t think.
The performances by all of the cast in this film are good though and everyone is a lot of fun to watch. Mila Kunis is incredibly entertaining to watch and some of the costumes she wears in this film are very nice indeed. Channing Tatum is okay as well, he plays the hero type of character throughout the film and he’s good when it comes to the action sequences. Sean Bean is interesting to watch and he’s always entertaining. While Eddie Redmayne is over the top with his acting, he’s not bad either, it’s just I think the tone in his scenes is a bit strange.
One aspect that was really good in Jupiter Ascending was the special effects. If there is one thing the Wachowski directors seem to know, it’s the special effects and in Jupiter Ascending they are great. It was a joy to look at all the sets, the spacecraft, the fight scenes and even the effects on the strange reptile characters that appear in the film. I mean the lizard guy in this film looks 100 times better than the lizard did in The Amazing Spider Man (2012) did. I was really impressed with all the effects. I did see the film in IMAX though and it wasn’t the whole screen so if you’re going there to see it you might want to consider that. I think just a normal cinema will be a better experience. The 3D is okay as well, not the best I’ve seen. But the effects are really good so I guess it makes up for it.
The sounds are nicely done as well, being a science fiction film you always want to have some cool sounding effects to go with it and when this is mixed with the great special effects things can get pretty entertaining. Music is well done as well and I think many will like the different scores that are present in the film.
Overall Jupiter Ascending is an okay film with a storyline that could have been really good but seemed to be condensed to fit a shorter run time and that’s a shame. The actors are all really entertaining to watch, Mila Kunis is one of the standouts of the film while Channing Tatum and the rest are good enough when they are needed. The special effects are excellent and the sound/music is well done. It’s just a shame that the storyline just doesn’t seem to hold up and the tone of the film is all over the place, being serious one minute and lighthearted the next. But at least it’s a good looking film and it has its fun moments.