The Wachowski duo have brought us some amazing films in the last decade, with The Matrix Trilogy, Speed Racer, V For Vendetta and more recently the insane Cloud Atlas, the duo have now released their latest film Jupiter Ascending and while critics seem to be panning the ambitious film, I found myself having the complete opposite experience in cinema. It is a dazzling, flashy sci fi adventure with a fantastic first hour, but then suddenly descends into awkward madness in the middle, yet picks up again at the end leaving me excited, confused, disappointed ,then dazzled. It really is one of the most conflicting films I have seen in a while.
Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a Russian immigrant who comes to the USA for a new life with her family and ends up cleaning for a living. When she is unknowingly attacked by a group of aliens, she is saved by half werewolf Cain (Channing Tatum) who explains that she is a reincaration of some old queen on another planet and basically owns Earth. From here she is transported to the other planets to fill out the necessary paper work to claim her entitlement, but she has three other people trying to stop her from doing this so along the way she learns the secret to immortality, nearly gets married and fights off an army of giant dinosaurs, it is equally as crazy and whacky as it sounds, and just as confusing.
Now oscar winner Eddy Redmayne plays the main villain, sporting a strange softly spoken Shakesperian accent that borders on ridiculous, this could have easily been his Nobit (that being said this is NOWHERE near as bad as that) yet it still has a camp and degenerate quality to it that you have to wonder what made him sign up in the first place.
What did work is the special effects, Tatum claims the position as beefcake half werewolf, barely wearing a shirt for most of the movies (ladies and gays CHECK!) while Kunis spends her time controlling bees to the advantage of well nothing really, the space scenes are spectacular with explosions, inter-species fight scenes all to a killer soundtrack that makes this worth the price of admission.
Overall this movie is just pure sci fi escapism, don’t look for anything too serious or meaningful here. It looks beautiful, Tatum and Kunis are a so-so pair on screen and while the story haphazardly darts from idea to idea without any real link, it is just a fun flick that is worth your time if you want to switch off for two hours.
Review by Alaisdair Dewar