Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne
Director: The Wachowskis
Running Time: 127 mins
Jupiter Ascending is an American film about a young girl who is taken away to space, where she learns that she is the heir to an entire planet, but she must battle a brutal opponent who aims to bring the human race to extinction for his own gain.
Now, The Wachowskis, despite coming up with this mess, will always be remembered for the brilliant sci-fi The Matrix, and there’s still some mark of their genius from 1999 left over here. The visual effects here are undoubtedly impressive (although way over the top), and there are a few interesting ideas put forward (although they regularly fall flat). The issue with Jupiter Ascending is that, whilst it promises to be like another Star Wars, it ends up as a messy and preposterous story that’s near impossible to stay interested in.
But before we get into the many problems with this film, let’s just take note of what it does right. The best part of it all is that the visual effects are very impressive. They might not be particularly nice to look at, and they do go way too far over the course of 2 and a half hours, they are consistently convincing and realistic, right up there with some of the best blockbusters of the last few years.
Also, the whole premise of the film, whilst eventually ending up convoluted and tired, is an interesting one. Much like the Star Wars prequels, which based a lot of its story on intergalactic politics, there are some interesting and original concepts put forward at the beginning of this film, which you don’t see too often in modern Hollywood.
However, original ideas can only go so far if they’re not built on well, and that’s exactly the case with Jupiter Ascending. Unfortunately, this film gets too caught up in its own world and its own incomprehensible language, and as a result it’s really tough to keep up with what’s going on, making it far too easy to just get fed up and bored with the film.
Seriously, by the end of Jupiter Ascending, I still didn’t really know what had actually happened. That’s in part due to losing focus at moments (which a film should never let you do), as well as the fact that some things that happen here are so preposterous that I felt as if I didn’t really get it, which became unbearably frustrating and boring after two whole hours.
The other major issue with Jupiter Ascending is the performances. Despite featuring an A-list cast, everybody here is disappointing. Mila Kunis Channing Tatum and Sean Bean all look bored and unconvinced by all of the space jargon coming out of their mouths, whilst Eddie Redmayne gives a hilariously awful performance as what seemed like a lizard-inspired galactic emperor. With an awful plot, the performances should have saved at least a little for this film, but they’re just as bad too in the end.
Overall, Jupiter Ascending isn’t a good film. Despite some impressive visuals, and interesting ideas, this film gets completely convoluted in its preposterous and dull story, worsened by a collection of poor performances from top actors, and that’s why it gets a 5.2 from me.