‘Jupiter Ascending’ not worth defending

by Trevan McGee on February 6, 2015

in Blogs,Print Reviews,Reviews

Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down

Even when they fail, it’s usually fun to watch Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski try. In a blockbuster spectrum that’s full of remakes, comic books, franchises and more remakes, they at least try to do things a little differently. Jupiter Ascending is an original story developed specifically for the screen. Yes, it wears many of its influences on its sleeve, but at the very least, it’s an attempt at a series that hasn’t been vetted through focus groups and the cross channel marketability of a Channing Tatum action figure.

The problem with Jupiter Ascending is that it’s not good. At all. Mila Kunis stars as the titular Jupiter, a maid Russian-descended maid who happens to be the heiress to a vast galactic fortune. She doesn’t know this, of course, and is subsequently thrusted into a world of bounty hunters, galactic politics and falling off things only to be caught at the last second. That last scenario happens more than once.

The entire plot of the film hangs on what is essentially a merger and acquisition. When it’s discovered that Jupiter is actually royalty and has a right to vast fortune – a fortune that is made by harvesting the teaspoon of galactic dust that makes up the universe out of human beings – Balem Abrasax (played by Eddie Redmayne) puts a kill contract on Jupiter before eventually trying to marry her.

Jupiter Ascending is a smattering of fantasy tropes and sci-fi cliches that ultimately don’t add up. The Wachowskis deserve some credit for making something original, but that’s not enough to save it. Sean Bean goes misused. Channing Tatum has nothing to do. It’s over-stuffed with plot points and even at it’s most clear-cut, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Catch it on a streaming service whenever it arrives or basic cable, but save your money.

 

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