Jupiter Ascending a Sci-Fi Mash Up Lacking Cohesion

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Jupiter Ascending Mila Kunis Channing Tatum Critical Blast

There's a certain mathematical elegance to the Wachowski's JUPITER ASCENDING. Given infinite space and infinite time, someone will be born somewhere with the exact same genetic sequence as someone who already existed. Multiply those infinite chances out, and that previous person might have been the Queen of the universe, who owned the Earth and willed it back to herself should she ever be genetically reassembled.

Of course, if the Queen of the Universe had children who covet the Earth because they're getting ready to harvest the people there to make their special water of life (the daughter is over 14 millennia old), then you might want to watch your royal back.

This is the position in which young Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis, who looks absolutely nothing like the Jupiter Jones from The Three Investigators children's book series) finds herself when a world of aliens and royalty are revealed to her. The royal Abrasax family have been watching for their mother to return, through some rather creepy means, and through these means find the young toilet scrubber. But one of their hunters, Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a half-man, half-wolf with flying shoes rescues her for Titus Abrasax, the younger sibling of the family which includes Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne) and Kalique Abrasax (Tuppence Middleton). Kalique disappears midway through the movie never to be seen again, and both Balem and Titus have their own agendas for Jupiter, neither of which is palatable.

Fortunately for Jupiter, she has a script to work from, because she acclimates to this wildly diverse population and mish-mash of technology (ever seen a steampunk laser tattoo needle?) without going through much future shock at all. Meanwhile, as the audience adjusts to one setting, that setting gets quickly replaced with one entirely different. The end result is a sci-fi mash up, with bits of SIGNS, DUNE, FLASH GORDON, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU -- and more than a dash of BATHORY and SOYLENT GREEN, with some fashion statements from THE HUNGER GAMES. The end result is an audience in confusion, never sure exactly what film we're watching or what each character's motivations truly are. The story is there, but it's too much, too quickly. If ever a film needed to have been fleshed out into a trilogy, it was this one. (Hey, it could have been JUPITER ASCENDING, JUPITER DESCENDING, JUPTER TRANSCENDING. Someone get me a time machine and a direct line to the Wachowskis!)

The only surprise in all of this is that Sean Bean, who portrays a half-man, half-bee named Stinger Apini (naturally) lives through the film.

Bonus features on this release include two character profiles ("Jupiter Jones: Destiny is Within Us" and "Caine Wise: Interplanetary Warrior") and an interview with the Wachowskis ("The Wachowskis: Minds Over Matter"). Other featurettes touch on the themes involved in the story ("Worlds Within Worlds Within Worlds" and "Jupiter Ascending: Genetically Spliced") as well as bits about the effects of the film ("Bullet Time Evolved" and "From Earth to Jupiter").

Did we mention Sean Bean lives all the way through the film?

Grade: 
2.5 / 5.0