Exploring the Past – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

TL;DR – One of those films that are close but no cigar, but you have to admire that they go at 100km an hour from start to finish    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Jupiter Ascending. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

One of my true joys in life is watching and witnessing a new work of glorious Science Fiction for the first time. Like those moments when you watched Farscape for the first time or watched the flaming guitar in Mad Max Fury Road explode out into the desert sun. However, sometimes it can be just as interesting to watch a film/TV show that is close but just not quite there and today we take a look back at just such a film.

So to set the scene, we open in on Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) who lives with her extended family in Chicago after her father Maximilian (James D’Arcy) was murdered back in Russia and her mother Aleksa (Maria Doyle Kennedy) fled to the States. Jupiter spends her time cleaning rich peoples houses and dreaming of getting out of it all. Well one day she gets that wish after a genetic test shows that she is the perfect reincarnation of the old matriarch of House Abrasax, an ancient alien dynasty that seeded life on Earth all those years ago.  

Jupiter Ascending. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.
The Worldbuilding in Jupiter Ascending is almost unrivalled. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Before we look at what doesn’t quite work, let’s take a moment to explore some of the moments of pure joy in this film. To begin with the world-building is almost second to none as we jump from planet to planet and even into Jupiter itself. All of it is created with a mixture of digital and practical effects that are just a delight to watch. Indeed, the extended romp through the bureaucracy of Ores is hands down one of the most enjoyable and visually engaging scenes I have seen in a long while. Each world/ship has a distinct feel to it, I think my favourite set piece was the wedding barge of Titus (Douglas Booth) a gothic cathedral in space.

Where things don’t quite play out as well as the characters and their relationships with each other. On the one hand you have Eddie Redmayne who is playing Balem Abrasax and chewing on every piece of scenery he can get his hands one. I find from discussions that you either love or hate his performance and I fall into the first category. Another strong point for the film is Jupiter and her extended family. There were many levels to how the family interacted with each other that made what happened in the climax of the film have much more weight than it would have otherwise.

Jupiter Ascending. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.
Any film set on Jupiter is probably going to get a big plus from me. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

However, one area where the film is really let down is in the chemistry between the two leads Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. While it is not Valerian bad it is almost non-existent. Part of this is the writing, with the way Caine falls in love is a bit on the ‘really’ side of things. As well as this, I have a feeling that the prosthetics that they had him ware affected his performance because he does not have the smoulder that you expect from Channing. All of this is not helped by a story that kind of jump around a bit and it feels like it was cut back on any connecting tissue that could have been used to let things breath.

In the end, do we recommend Jupiter Ascending? Yes, yes we would. It is not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination but it is a really entertaining one. If nothing else, enjoy it for the sheer amusement of Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne ham up every scene he is in exquisitely.           

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Jupiter Ascending?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Jupiter Ascending
Directed by
– The Wachowskis
Written by – The Wachowskis
Music by – Michael Giacchino
Cinematography by – John Toll
Edited by – Alexander Berner
Production/Distribution Companies – Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Anarchos Productions & Warner Bros. Pictures
Starring
– Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Edward Hogg, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Vanessa Kirby, Jeremy Swift, Christina Cole, Doona Bae, James D’Arcy, Kick Gurry, Tim Pigott-Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Ramon Tikaram            
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13

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