Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jupiter Ascending

The Gist: A young cleaning lady is suddenly thrown in the middle of a deadly intergalactic squabble involving three noble and powerful siblings. She's apparently their "reincarnated" mother and owner of the Earth, whose human population is to be used to produce a rejuvenating serum.

Jupiter Ascending is clearly a labor of love for Lana and Lilly Wachowski, but the end result is uneven and disappointing.

The originality is evident in the characters and worlds created, and in the basic concept, but the script is simply trying to do too much in the allotted time. Character development feels rushed and incomplete.

The movie is visually stunning, wonderfully scored by Michael Giacchino, and, considering the material provided, rather well acted by Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, and Eddie Redmayne.

Redmayne was particularly savaged for his theatrical performance, but given the wafer-thin screenplay I think he simply tried to give heft to a supposedly important character that is given precious little to say and do. Also, he might have been asked to make his character look so affected.

The Bottom Line: After making the utterly original The Matrix, one of my favorite movies ever, I am always curious to see what the Wachowski's will concoct next. Jupiter Ascending could have marked the beginning of a new space saga, and instead fizzled for lack of development. Watch it at your peril if you long for some awesome visual effects or want to see Channing Tatum prance and skulk around bare chested for a while. Oh and Douglas Booth ain't too hard on the eyes either...

Grade: 5

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