Jupiter Ascending was an unusually rushed romance movie, wrapped in an awesome sci-fi. One thing that struck me about the whole film was… how you spend that much time and energy into creating this visually stunning, well thought out, multi-racial, sci-fi world; and then just give i away to mediocre acting and weak storyline? It’s almost like two different people created the two halves of the movie and then stuck the two halves together with a glue stick.
Mila Kunis gives a lukewarm performance in her role as the lead character Jupiter Jones. Channing Tatum plays the role of a hybrid Man-Wolf, super soldier named Caine Wise. The character itself is some what emotionally distance, so don’t expect many deep moments or pulse pounding dialogue from Tatum. But… i can assure you of two things… he yells a lot and he takes his shirt off. Did anyone else not see that coming???
There is not much to say from the unanimated supporting cast. Eddie Redmayne does a great job at channeling Lord Voldemort in his portrayal of Balem Abrasax. For me, Sean Bean was the stand-out character as Stinger. Stinger is Caine’s former military buddy now living on earth with his daughter and army of honey bees. I’m not sure if they explained why he had all those honey bees, but they made good use of them. He gave a consistent performance as the Bad Good guy. He also whips up on Caine pretty good.
One last comment on the cast before I move on to TRUE star of the film. HOW REFRESHING to see such a diverse cast in a space based science fiction movie. The writers made an effort of stray away from the solely humanoid cast of space people. Aside from the robotic / cybernetic units, the Elephant man, and re-imagined Martians creatures… there is one character that really stands out. I don’t want to ruin it for you. I want you to be a awestruck as I was…. But… what do you get when you combine Godzilla, Angel (Marvel), and Sons of Anarchy????? You get THAT GUY! Yeah… and he did not disappoint in battle. I’ll leave it at that.
The story was somewhat plain with a few flashes comedy and romance. It’s a strong sci-fi action film with a side of romance and drama. Some of the dialogue scenes get a little long, but it’s survivable. This movie has more family drama than a single season of Roseanne. There were a few key elements of the movie that felt very Matrixy. There are plenty of scenes worthy of further commentary, but I will pick a few that stood out to me. Again, I’ll be a little vague so that I don’t spoil it for anyone.
- Jupiter? How are you going to just stand there and let him choke you like that???
- How are you going to drag that poor girl around the universe… take her back home… then take her right back out before she even gets a chance to order a deep dish pizza (the Earth based movie is set in Chicago)? That’s just messed up.
- How is she going to change clothes that many times in this movie but never ask for clean underwear… WAIT…. OHHHHH. Nevermind.
So let’s get to the real geeky goodness of this movie. There is so much to love about the vehicles, tech, weapons, and dynamics of the world that they created. From the moving panels of the spacecraft, to the Star-Wars-esque hover bike, to the repulsor weapon, to the wearable tech. OHHHH THE WEARABLE TECH! The creativity was excellent when in came to some of the technological elements of the movie. The anti-grav boot concept has been around for a long time. They did a great job detailing these boots as well as many of the other gadgets that appeared in this movie. Neil Degrasse Tyson may have some issues with the physics of the boots, as well as a few of the outer space moments; but the tech really made this movie for me. From the cities to the diverse starships, the overall artistry of this film was worthy of a $70 video game. They went big with nice little details. I would watch it again, just to take in the visuals. Just to be clear… when I say watch it again… I mean on some free media outlet. I would not pay $2.00 to see this movie a second time.
Jupiter Ascending is a beautiful movie, but it’s not quite worthy of a full price viewing or the use of a coupon. The story is just not strong enough and the acting leaves a lot to be desired. I have to say that I’m not mad about paying full price at the Black Geeks unofficial movie theater, but knowing what I know now… I probably would have waited for Netflix to pick it up.