Review: Jupiter Ascending with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis

Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending

Out this week is the new film by the Wachowki’s, famously the creators of the Matrix Trilogy, with their new movie Jupiter Ascending, which had been pushed back by a handful of months allegedly because it was so terrible.

It stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis and if this is the good version I do not want to see the original.

The premise is simply that Jupiter (Kunis) is a toilet cleaner, a perfectly normal job for a perfectly normal girl. She is very much in love with the idea of owning a telescope so that she can look at space and go ‘ooh’, which is a very respectable hobby.

Unfortunately this is about as far as the plot makes sense. Jupiter decides to sell her human womb eggs so that she can get enough money to buy this telescope, but when she goes to get her eggs removed she is nearly murdered as some anorexic bug like aliens have disguised themselves as doctors but fortunately Caine Wise (Tatum) flies into the room on the back of a beard and saves her at the last minute.

From here on in the film becomes one of three things:

1. Jupiter blacks out or is otherwise confused and detained and wakes up in a room or on a new spaceship wearing new clothes surrounded by different people who assure her that they are the good guys and that she should listen to them.

2. Caine flies around on something shiny in a glorious cgi background that will make you gasp a little at it’s fabulousness.

3. Jupiter is asked to fill in a form /sign something

Jupiter Ascending is an incredibly good looking film with absolutely no substance, very much like its lead actor. It is appalling how thrilling and intensely beautiful the landscape, set designs and worlds are. They seem highly developed, the attention to detail, the colour coordination and everything else you can feast your eyes on is delicious.

The script and direction however feel like that Lana and Andy Wachowski spent the whole time thinking the other one was in charge of the script, and upon realising that neither of them had written one they panicked, pulled a handful of different ideas and pages from sci-fi books out of a magical hat, wrapped them up in the worlds most beautiful bow and charged Warner Brothers millions of dollars for them. Whereas Boyhood had carefully orchestrated everything so that you new exactly what had been going on in between the scenes, Jupiter Ascending doesn’t really give you time to digest what is going on in front of you. Early on in the film for example Mila Kunis is shown to have a strange admiration and respect from a hive of bees, which is never mentioned again and seems rather pointless to have been mentioned in the first place. The increasingly tedious mandatory love story is empty of inspiration, there is no reason any of the characters should be talking to each other let alone falling in love and making infrequent and startling jokes, each of which had an effect normally associated with a kidney stone than with a punchline.

What strikes me as most disappointing is that I truly get the feeling that there was a four hour film here that was outstanding and maybe ground breaking and original, that had been cut to pieces by bureaucracy until we were left with one hundred and twenty-seven minutes of hollowed out characters with too many plot lines between them. Though maybe the whole movie was a metaphor for space, the beautiful vast nothingness is enraptured perfectly.

In short you can achieve a similar effect of this film by watching a pretty girl apply for a passport.