Jupiter Ascending Plot:
Down-on-her-luck housekeeper Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is tracked down by genetically engineered hunter, Caine (Channing Tatum) so she can fulfill her destiny save the universe — and prevent it from falling it into the clutches of a mad alien despot (Eddie Redmayne). Have you ever watched a film and found yourself questioning, “Wait, what is this movie about again?”
That is exactly the situation I found myself in as I watched Jupiter Ascending. With its impressive graphics and star-studded cast, for a brief moment in time as I was viewing the trailer, I was hopeful. Hopeful, that the Wachowski siblings’ latest film would actually be memorable. I was sadly disappointed. While I have certainly seen worse, Jupiter Ascending is a campy space film that takes itself far too seriously. The film attempts to be a moving sci-fi piece but, instead falls short and actually makes Spaceballs seem like a cinematic masterpiece. The dialogue seems forced and mirrored that of the Star Wars prequels, and the plot, well, let’s just say that even an hour into the film I still couldn’t quite tell you what was going on.
The film loosely tells the story of a young woman named Jupiter, a housemaid living in Chicago, and how she learns that she is actually a queen on another planet. Of course, things are not as simple as they appear. Instead of being taken from Earth, by the werewolf alien, Cain (Tatum) and successfully being brought to her new home — Jupiter finds herself in a dangerous battle with Lord Balem (Redmayne). Balem is attempting to harvest human life on Earth in order to gain the necessary ingredients for a potion that will provide he and his subjects with eternal youth and beauty. Mila Kunis portrays the film’s heroine, Jupiter.
There isn’t much else to report regarding Kunis’ performance other than the actress seems aware of just how ridiculous this script is. Her character reminds me of Natalie Portman’s in Star Wars and is a prime example of a strong actress giving a poor performance due to the lack of a promising story. Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) dons guy liner, pointy prosthetic ears and a terrible scruffy beard and portrays Cain, the wolf-human hybrid who repeatedly rescues the film’s leading lady. As with most of Mr. Tatum’s performances, there isn’t anything particularly wrong with his portrayal, but there isn’t anything captivating either.
Oscar Nominee, Eddie Redmayne, stars as the film’s villainous Lord Balem. With Prince-inspired costumes and quaffed hair, Redmayne is practically unrecognizable. The Oscar contender makes for a great villain but his overly dramatic performance is laughable at certain moments. Douglas Booth (Romeo and Juliet) excels at portraying Eddie Redmayne’s brother, Titus, but then again there isn’t too much substance to his character and he more so functions as eye candy for female viewers.
Regardless of the outlandish script and lack of character development, Jupiter Ascending is visually stunning. Kym Barrett’s costumes are absolutely breathtaking and the green screen generated planets and backdrops are beautiful. The visual aesthetics function as a distraction to the film’s subpar narrative.
Bottom Line: Jupiter Ascending is fun. Fun if you don’t mind a two-hour long film with very little story line and poor performances. As a viewer it is best to avoid this film all together or to enter the theatre with very low expectations. If you are searching for an intelligent film…well this is not the film you are looking for. Move along.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.comand nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com