As hopeful as I was about Jupiter Ascending prior to its release, I was still prepared for a let down. However, I didn’t think it would be this catastrophic.
I love when movies have an opening scene that’s really big and draws the audience in right away. And this film did it right. Although I questioned why the unborn baby’s father would risk his and his family’s life over a telescope, I figured it would be of importance later.
I was wrong.
Before we go to the theater, we trust movies that feature actors that we’ve grown to rely on. We trust that they made a movie that’s worth our money. Actors put our butts in the seats. And being a pretty big fan of Channing Tatum, I stayed optimistic about this one–despite it being a sci-fi action movie being released in early February. I mean, I loved John Carter and I didn’t even see that one based on any acting merit.
But with Jupiter Ascending, the plot is so convoluted that we grow frustrated trying to grasp what’s really happening. We get story lines that begin, but don’t end–as if a 10 year old was giving the “and then…” approach to telling the story. Characters (and even entire subplots) come in and out with no conclusions to their story arc. The dialogue is painfully unnatural, and the acting isn’t even bad enough to laugh at. For a movie that’s about preserving life’s greatest asset–time–at 127 minutes, I’ve had plenty.
With all the movies based on books, it’s nice to finally have one that’s original. I just wish that it had been executed better. The unique concept is highly intriguing and the film presents some thought provoking themes, but hardly anyone will be able to lock down on them.
But ultimately we grow annoyed and antsy. We never find out who killed Jupiter’s dad and why, and what reason he had for trying to save his telescope while simultaneously jeopardizing his whole family. And did anyone else notice that every time Jupiter (Mila Kunis) gets into trouble and we think, “this is it for her,” Caine (Tatum) arrives perfectly on time and saves the day (this happens about 8 times). This eliminates any suspense from the audience as we become assured that this will happen each subsequent time, thus making us not nervous about the character’s fate. Not that we care a whole lot at this point anyway.
Just about the only things this movie has going for it are the attractive set pieces and deeply veiled virtues. I had no idea what was going on at any given time, but somehow I know what happened.
I can’t recommend this movie to anyone just based on the fact that it’s terrible. If you’re curious, just rent it when it comes out on DVD.
I’m pretty easily entertained and I really didn’t like this movie.