Jupiter Ascending: Overblown Wachowski Space Epic
Channing TatumEddie Redmayne...
Action & AdventureScience Fiction
Andy WachowskiLana Wachowski
In 1 Cinema
Residing with superb universe-building artistry, sweeping action and mesmerizing outer-space imagery, the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending is an ambitious film which although, quite beautiful to look at, seems to be a little short on the depth and narrative needed to hold it all together.
Set in Chicago and centered on Jupiter Jones (Kunis); an unfortunate daughter of Russian immigrants whose rather unhappy and dismal existence consists of scrubbing toilets alongside her mother, Aleksa (Kennedy) and other siblings.
As it turns out, Jupiter – who spends her days dreaming of a better and richer life – appears to possess the exact same genetic disposition as the recently deceased matriarch of a seemingly powerful intergalactic royal family. It’s not until when, the half-man, half-wolf skyjacker Caine Wise (Tatum) comes into her life and takes her away into outer-space –saving her from an intentional and calculated attack – that Jupiter begins to see a whole new picture.
However, the transition into the royal heir to Earth is not without risks as she begins learn the workings by her now trusted savior. Meanwhile, the three royal siblings, Balem (Redmayne), Titus (Booth) and Kalique (Middleton) are busy cooking up a plan of their own.
It’s a rather impressive and praise-worthy effort from the Wachowskis who clearly spent of a large amount of time and effort into building yet another – see Matrix, Cloud Atlas – utterly sublime and engrossing outer-space experience. The cinematography is splendid and full of cosmic detailing and the action-set pieces – especially the eight-minute chase scene through the streets of Chicago – are thrilling, although, perhaps a little sporadic in their appearance altogether.
The story itself is where the problems lies as the script – which was allegedly over six-hundred pages long – feels a little too clunky and dense, leaving the movie’s hundred and twenty-seven minutes running time without enough space to fully embrace its enlarged and elaborated ideas. The other drawback is the unfortunate pairing of Kunis and Tatum. The couple shares very little to no onscreen chemistry – considering that they are supposed to be the central hub of the story – and their coupling, thanks to Kunis’ underwhelming performance and Tatum’s lack of appeal and character, feels a little strained.
All in all, Jupiter Ascending is not entirely a mess but, it’s also not as grand or transcendent as it wants itself to be; the ideas are there, but, there’s too many of them to make any sort of meaningful and significant impact.