Jupiter Ascending is the latest from the Writing-Directing Wachowski siblings. You loved their work on the Matrix but if you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ve been pretty disappointed with what they’ve put out since. Expectations for this one have been high (with it’s 175 million dollar budget) but the release date was continuously delayed and those trailers were pretty freaking confusing.
I honestly didn’t expect to like this movie at all. As the theater lights went down, the critic sitting next to me said, “This movie is gonna be awful,” and I fully agreed with her. Then I spent the next half-hour being totally enthralled. Unfortunately, Jupiter Ascending is just over 2 hours long.
Jupiter is a disenchanted maid in Chicago who wants more out of her life. She’s played by the painfully gorgeous Mila Kunis, whose eyelashes are SO LONG. I bet she can’t even wear sunglasses with those things. I want them!
Jupiter finds out that she’s actually galactic royalty and is swept into a universe of interstellar kings and queens who act like family but really just want to kill her. Thankfully, she is protected by the Dog-Soldier-Hybrid Caine, played by Channing Tatum. He is probably my favorite part of the whole movie. I love how Tatum can take any role, whether it be a Dog-Soldier, Male-Stripper, or Ignorant-Cop (he is like the Village People of Leading Men) and find a way to inject humor, vulnerability and sex appeal. There’s great chemistry between he and Kunis as well. Jupiter is constantly snuggling close to him and batting those ridiculous lashes but Caine always rebuffs her advances. Sadly, the push and pull between the two of them is the only reason to see Jupiter Ascending.
The Wachowski’s cram too much story into an already too long movie and the result is an overworked mess. Every scene is so over-the-top, you can’t decide if it’s beautiful or just absurd. (Don’t even get me started on the shrieking Eddie Redmayne. And I LOVED that guy in The Theory of Everything!) I don’t think anyone ever expected a pared-down less-is-more picture from the Wachowskis but a little self-control goes a long way. What could’ve been a tired but enjoyable story becomes full-blown-chaos.
That’s why I’m giving Jupiter Ascending a D+. It’s a stupid movie that tries way too hard but then Channing Tatum flies into the scene in his Gravity Boots and I suddenly hate it just a little less.