Movie review: ‘Jupiter Ascending’
Directed By Andy and Lana Wachowski
Starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Kick Gurry, David Ajala, Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton, Douglas Booth
Rated PG-13, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, 127 minutes
“Jupiter Ascending” chronicles the privileged life led by a select group of intergalactic elites. They are the real one percenters.
A billion years ahead of human earthlings, these original Homo sapiens long ago discovered a means of harvesting “immortality serum” from farmed human beings. To obtain the serum they seeded other planets with human DNA, waiting until conditions were right to harvest the humans from each planet.
Earth is one such planet and, most importantly (due to its overpopulated state), is ready to be harvested. However, there’s a problem. The alien queen (and owner of the rights to our planet) has recently died. The queen’s genetic duplicate, Jupiter (played by Mila Kunis), has been discovered alive and well on earth. This discovery complicates the situation because the queen has three adult children whose rights of inheritance will be superceded should her genetic duplicate become certified. At least one of the queen’s children is willing to kill their mother’s genetic duplicate to secure his inheritance.
Back on earth Jupiter knows nothing of being a genetic duplicate poised to inherit a fortune. Therefore she doesn’t understand why shape-shifting aliens carrying out orders from the human aliens have come to kill her. Fortunately, the queen’s daughter (Tuppence Middleton) hires human-wolf hybrid Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) to serve as Jupiter’s protector.
Wearing a pair of powerful rocket shoes, he is extremely good at ferrying Jupiter out of harm’s way.
Eventually, Jupiter will be taken to various planets, each inhabited by one of the royal children, each of whom are determined to make Jupiter see things their way.
While the core of this paranoid story is an interesting concept set forth by Lana and Andy Wachowski, the plot lurches from one muddled heap to the next, lacking continuity and often sacrificing coherence. Although the Wachowskis appear anxious to show us the pictures in their minds, they seem to have given up on producing logical segues between major plot points. Kunis, Tatum and Sean Bean (in a supporting role) are all saddled with cliché dialog that even the greatest actor would be unable to spout convincingly.
The action sequences of “Jupiter Ascending” are sufficiently entertaining but lacking thoughtful through lines. There is no center to hold these sequences together. Bring on the baling wire.
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