Saturday, February 7, 2015

Movie Review -- Jupiter Ascending

Today we have the latest film from the Wachowskis: Jupiter Ascending. Is it worth your time? Let's find out.

The story revolves around Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), the daughter of a Russian and an Englishman. She and her mother make a living by cleaning houses. It's a very humdrum existence, but little does Jupiter know that change is coming. After being convinced by her idiot cousin to sell her eggs, she goes to a fertility clinic and is accosted by malicious beings who don't seem quite human. She is saved by the arrival of man/wolf warrior Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), who spirits her away and later reveals to her the existence of aliens. As it turns out, Earth was seeded by the House of Abraxas, an extraterrestrial dynasty, a hundred thousand years ago for the purpose of one day harvesting humans in order to make their elixir of everlasting life. Furthermore, Jupiter is the genetic reincarnation of the Abraxa matriarch and heir to Earth, a fact which does not sit well with the matriarch's soft-spoken son Balem (Eddie Redmayne) who wants the planet for himself. Balem's brother Titus (Douglas Booth) and sister Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) also have their own plans for Jupiter, and their schemes soon conflict with one another.

After a fierce battle across the Chicago skyline, Caine takes Jupiter to see his old commanding officer Stinger (Sean Bean). At Stinger's farmhouse they are attacked by mercenaries working for Balem and Kalique. Jupiter is kidnapped and taken to the Abraxas home planet with Caine in hot pursuit. Can he rescue Jupiter and keep her safe from her new-found enemies? Will she become ruler of Earth? Or will Jupiter's family be dragged into the struggle?

Jupiter Ascending is certainly a visually appealing movie. That shouldn't surprise anyone, since it's from the same duo who brought us the Matrix movies. This particular film packs a CG punch and is fun to watch. It's also got kickass action scenes which will not disappoint.

However, the movie does little else to distinguish itself from other space epics. It's got your standard space ships, aliens and lasers, and it's nothing you haven't seen before. Unlike The Matrix, Jupiter Ascending doesn't break any new ground. Instead, it's like a well-worn glove--comfortable, but the same color you've seen numerous times. And the story, while mildly interesting, is one that has been done before, so it didn't really excite me.

In short, Jupiter Ascending is a cool-looking, if not exactly revolutionary, film.

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