Review: Jupiter Ascending


Jupiter Ascending PosterThis is one of the those movies where I’m really glad I ignored the critics. I went into the theater wanting to watch a beautiful and entertaining science-fiction movie.

I was entertained with not just a science fiction movie with beautiful design, fantasy elements and amazing costumes, I got….


Can you sense my excitement?!?!?!

Jupiter Ascending is not a science fiction movie set out to burden you with heavy political analogies and strife. There is plenty of movies that do that and there will be plenty more in the future. This is a movie where you can sit back, forget about reality for a few hours, and watchvampire-like space royalty battle it out. A large bucket of popcorn is recommended. It’s fun.

Jupiter Ascending is really,really fun. This was so much fun that I am still riding on the happy fumes.

So what is this movie about?

Jupiter Ascending is an original story/space opera created by Lana and Andy Wachowski. They are famous for writing or directing: Matrix, V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas.They are well known for pushing the boundary of normal cinema. Everyone has a favorite Wachowski film. Just as with Speed Racer, they brought hyperactive action scenes and full blown artistic imagination–and took it into space.

Jupiter Ascending is essentially a re-imagining of the story of thechosen one. Jupiter Jones (played by Mila Kunis) lost her father at a young age. She grew up toiling away alongside her mother cleaning houses. To scrounge up money for a telescope,she decides to sell her eggs at a fertility clinic. Not until the anesthetic mask is firmly placed does she realize that her life is in mortal danger. With impeccable timing (as is demonstrated over and over and over), Caine Weiss (played by Channing Tatum) bursts in to save her. As a Legionnaire, wing-less wolf-human hybrid, he was hired to find her by one of the royal House of Abrasax. It turns out that Jupiter contains the DNA of space royalty. Before she can even take a breath, she is whisked right off to space where she is ricocheted between the royal siblings fighting for her power. Jupiter contains not only royal blood but the legal right to own Earth, a very valuable commodity. There are more frills to the story but that covers the basics.

Also the royal family are not really space vampires, but they sure as hell act like it. They prey upon humans to keep their immortality. Like vampires. Hence, space vampires.

As a whole, this movie was ridiculously entertaining. The chase scenes become more and more over the top. The gadgetry, the timing, the creatures. There are so many comparisons I can draw to movies I have found entertaining:

– the aliens in the cornfield from Signs

– the mecha suits immediately conjured up Gundam

– the background costuming had so much imagination and whimsy in it  reminded me of Neverending Story

– the final destruction scene reminds me of dragon battles from every fantasy novel I have read.

– even the steam-punk-like clerk reminded me of a store in Diagon Alley for some reason

-then there is the shameless enjoyment I get from watching Super Mario Brothers the Movie and Dungeons and Dragons.

Everyone will come up with their own references and connections to previous cinematic entertainments. Regardless, Jupiter Ascending stands alone with its own opulent aesthetic filled with dino-space dragons.

This movie was entertaining enough for me to completely forget about reality for a few hours and walk away with a goofy grin.  Now there  are some (ok, a lot) of questions and concerns that arise after watching the movie.

Such as:

1. Why did the mother owe money? In a spectacular jarring and sad scene, we find how Jupiter’s father came to pass away. The big question is why? It makes you really want to know more about her mother and puts a lot of her character in question.

2. So,putting all the fun aside, how did Jupiter become gifted with all of this royal space DNA? Both of her parents were established as firmly human. Did aliens come down, mind-wipe, and implant a royal space baby in her mother? Is this a space version of Rosemary’s Baby?!

3. I can buy buildings being built really quickly and minds being erased, but that leaves a question: wouldn’t there have been deaths while all of the destruction was going on during the epic space chase across the Chicago skyline? All of these epic space fights are amazing but a tiny thought always stays with me: How many people have died or become injured?

4. Ew, Titus, the Dorien Grey-like sibling wanted to marry a reincarnated version of his mother.

5. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis were fun in this movie, but I do not buy the romance between them at all. There was not enough time or reason for these two to fall in love. I can understand her relying on him to guide her through the space politics but not through everything else. Although,I have to admit the final scene where his newly gained wings wrap around her is pretty damn romantic looking.

6. I want more Asian purple hair pig tailed  huntress!

With the demerits, I bring the merits:

1. Hurrah for casting diversity! So many different colors and species.

2. The final battle scene is between Jupiter and her adversary. She does no hiding behind Channing Tatum. She straights up OWNS the adversary with one line. Satisfactory.

3.  The ending (for now) is pretty good. Jupiter doesn’t owe allegiance to anyone and she accomplished her wishes. She protected Earth and her family.

4. The acting in this movie is hilarious and awesome. It has to be seen to be experienced.

5. I guess Jupiter’s the bee’s knees huh?!

Which brings to the end. Now what? Jupiter has essentially created a massive disturbance in space commerce. I doubt her royal status will keep her protected.

Despite all of that, I still enjoyed Jupiter Ascending. Nay, I LOVED this movie. I loved it so much that I actually wished it was longer. I wanted to know more about this world and characters. The movie gave only enough of information to keep me immersed in the story, but not enough to keep me from being wildly curious about it afterwards.

There just has to be a sequel. Has to be!

I would definitely recommend catching Jupiter Ascending at your local theater. Enjoy!


One Response

  1. ertert February 22, 2015 Reply

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