Jupiter Ascending (2015)
- Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
- With: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne
- 127 Minutes
After a long period of wait in which the fans of the Wachowski brothers were only allowed to see a trailer that gave too much information, even though no one could understand it, at last the two brothers responsible for the amazing world of Matrix saw their new project getting a green light to open in theaters worldwide. First I should mention that Jupiter Ascending is an extravagant project that had good reasons to be successful, mostly thanks to a somewhat complex and interesting plot idea… The whole idea is quite interesting since humans are treated as farm animals by an advanced universal society that uses our genes as an expensive resource to live more years. So basically human beings are treated like oil or drugs… We are placed in a planet and then, after a long period of waiting they capture us in a process called harvest. But again, this is just the basis of the whole story and instead of using this great idea in a proper way, the Wachowski brothers decided to play safe, by making this just another visual fest that leaves many questions unanswered.
First there’s Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a young woman born under a night sky and destined for great things whose job is basically cleaning houses and toilets in the city. Then there’s Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter who was basically a human dog and who was hired by Titus Abrasax to capture Jupiter before his brother’s soldiers. So basically everyone except for Jupiter, Caine and Seam Bean knew what was going on. When Jupiter is finally safe, she is introduced to a reality completely unbelievable in which she was queen of the Earth and because of our planet’s amazing resources everyone was trying to kill her before she could claim what was rightfully hers. Accompanied by Caine, Jupiter will live an extraordinary adventure through the Universe while she meets a family of evil brothers who compete against each other in a quest for absolute power.
First in just two hours it’s really complicated to understand the whole universe and story without having any doubts… Even though most of the things are explained during the movie there are interesting details they could explain a bit better, because in the end no one gives a damn to the Twilight Effect (oh yes there’s “unexpected” romance in the air!). Basically the Abrasax family is a small part of a group of powerful people that controls our Universe. They have the amazing ability to create life and to cause massive extinctions and all this is made to generate profit. Basically they sell our genes as drug or as a magical treatment that allows them to have the most powerful resource, time. The three brothers, Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique and Titus are heirs of an amazing and vast fortune of unique planets and apparently Earth is one of the most important ones in economic aspects. So Titus hires Caine to save Jupiter from his brother’s hands but in the end Kalique is the one who saves her from the middle of a family fight. In the end what matters is that every member of the Abrasax family only wants Jupiter because she is the true owner of our planet and man they hate competition. So basically we have the evil brothers in one side, a team dominated by the presence of Balem. Balem is the usual evil guy who enjoys doing silly things while trying to accomplish his terrifying plan and curiously he is played by the one actor everyone is talking about. Balem controls a vast army of lizards and magical creatures and he is probably the most powerful member of the family.
So yes, there’re actually interesting aspects about the story… The problem in my opinion is basically focused in two aspects: too much annoying visual effects and a really unnecessary romance. We have Stinger, played by Sean Bean, the Human Spoiler himself, a former military who shared a story with Caine, the cute doggie in the picture. He is the strong guy, the hero and he’s the one with the interesting life story (funny because I thought the heroine should be Jupiter). He is ready to fight to protect Jupiter’s life at any cost and to redeem himself from a trouble past story with Stinger. The problem is basically the dramas and the ambitions of Miss Jupiter Jones who hates washing other people’s toilets and who dreams about buying a telescope (well actually that is a nice dream). Basically when Jupiter sees herself in the middle of this amazing journey, she’s a bit emotionless and the only side of humanity we see from her is in the final moments of the movie. Basically for a general action flick, the performances are enjoyable and there’s basically nothing that deserves to be mentioned.
Jupiter Ascending is basically the ultimate roller-coaster of emotions… When the movie was starting to get my attention, they ruin all the fun with a crappy romance that reminded me a lot of Twilight (and that is not good). So there’s the interesting and curious side of a complex story and the WTF side of a poor and unnecessary romance followed by long sequences of visual effects that becomes a bit annoying in the end. And when I say annoying trust me they are really annoying. So the movie ends up losing its impact with the excessive visual effects in an ending sequence that can be compared with the one from Man of Steel. If they managed to work a bit better the whole story instead of just focusing in the visual side of it, perhaps Jupiter Ascending could have been the Wachowski’s next big hit. Instead the movie looks like a gigantic visual fest that fails in most of the aspects while it manages to entertain its viewers. More suitable for a younger audience, Jupiter Ascending is a complex visual treat that has the potential to divide opinions and that unfortunately fails in being more than just a really entertaining movie.