Film Review – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter - post

Title – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Director – The Wachowski’s (The Matrix)

Cast – Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Sean Bean

Plot – Young cleaner Jupiter (Kunis) discovers she is actually a reincarnated heiress that could see her become the earth’s rightful owner. Caught up in a war between warring siblings led by Balem (Redmayne), Jupiter finds safety alongside warrior Caine (Tatum).

 “Some lives will always matter more than others”

Review by Eddie on 7/07/2015

There’s a cry out there ringing loud and more frequent by the hour, a cry that calls for more originality in our increasingly sequel led, comic book and remake centric movie industry but when our collective cry for fresh ideas snares us something like Jupiter Ascending, it must be said that perhaps the studios are depressingly right in their culling of funds and support for such risky new ideas.

The Wachowski siblings were once the talk of Hollywood town, the harbingers of the new Sci-Fi age with the Matrix and it’s slightly questionable follow ups just the type of ideas that seem somewhat rarer today than they were back in Neo’s first adventure in 1999 but these siblings have now fallen victim to a string of flops from the enjoyable yet overstuffed Speed Racer, the misunderstood but not surprising flop Cloud Atlas and now this huge 150 plus million dollar Sci-Fi turkey that could just be the final straw in the Wachowski’s ability to be able to secure funding for any further ambitions they may have.

With its collection of production delays, release date hold offs and talk of much internal conflict regarding the final product, Jupiter Ascending didn’t have an ideal lead up to its release and with its failure to capitalise in any market place both domestic or foreign, along with films like Tomorrowland, this will go down as one of the year’s most colossal flops that could just see this wannabe Sci-Fi epic be used as an example for others as to why such money should not be spent on original property ideas which for all us is a very bad thing indeed.

Whilst there could be endless debate on the career of the Wachowski siblings, the fall from grace of original filmmaking and the future of Sci-Fi cinema, what makes Jupiter Ascending such a bad film is a collection of elements that combine to create one of the most overblown and underachieving space operas that has ever been created. Filled with endless ideas and possibilities that neither come to fruition or the forefront despite small moments that seem to suggest the film could all of a sudden become something special, Jupiter Ascending never gets its own personality or heart that would’ve made it the event film both the studio and filmmakers so clearly wanted.

From the miscasting of Mila Kunis, the almost laughably made up Channing Tatum, through to Eddie Redmayne’s horrendous whispering villain, every character in the Wachowski’s journey gets lost in a plot that has everything from human harvesting, alien doctors, impromptu weddings  and scenes of gratuitous toilet cleaning yet nothing that makes us care, especially when there is so much confusion amongst all the backstory, side plots and Sci-Fi mumbo-jumbo. With care factor at zero no amount of CGI wizardry can save this overstuffed tale and when Tatum’s Caine penchant for flying around on some air skating shoes frequently comes to the forefront, Jupiter Ascending can never become anything more than a showcase for money not well spent.

There may just be an audience for Jupiter Ascending out there and perhaps a long life of cult fandom awaits it, but the audience for this film was clearly not at the cinema and for most people like myself, Jupiter Ascending is a shoddily constructed, lazily edited and dire example of why original movie making is quickly becoming a dying art.

1 and a half elephant star ship pilots out of 5

48 responses to “Film Review – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

  1. Totally agree with you on this one. You could see they were hoping to make a grand spectacle but it was just dull, in spite of all the big names attached.

  2. Etched on tombstone of The Wachowskis’ career is but a singular line that tells an epic tale all by itself;

    “I love dogs… I’ve always loved dogs.”

  3. Very well said Eddie. I dismayed at how bad this ended up. I guess all those aforementioned delays should’ve made me adjust my expectations but I went in eager to witness something great and left feeling ripped off.

      • Hah, Yeah. That is *if* they get another shot. I think you’re on to something with the relationship between how expensive this was, the originality of the ideas and the ridiculously poor return on investment. It’s why Hollywood is so scared of straying away from remakes, adaptations and other, safer stories. It’s sad. Lets hope the faith remains though. I think the siblings are far too talented for this to be their last stand.

  4. I think people took this to seriously. It was like a telenovella in outerspace. I had a great time with it.

  5. It’s rubbish but pretty to look at rubbish. And Sean Bean survived to the end! I hope the directors (whose names I can neither spell nor pronounce) won’t be asked to inflict their ideas on the public again for a while 🙂

  6. 1 and a half elephant star ship pilots out of 5 I love this original rating system that you have very cool and creative.

  7. Agreed. I am becoming increasingly less impressed with Sci-Fi films of the last few years. They seem to be relying heavily on CGI and visual FX to tell their story without any actual plot of substance. As someone who looks for the story before anything else, this is truly saddening. 1 1/2 out of 5 sad attempts at a relevant plot device.

  8. Just want to take you to task on one thing. “Cloud Atlas” was anything but a flop. It made $130 million worldwide on a $26 million budget. Even when you take Hollywood accounting into account, this is a movie that made a profit.

    As far as ‘Jupiter Ascending’ goes, the entire plot of the movie was spoilt for me before I watched it, and I think it works better that way. By understanding why everyone wants Mila Kunis dead, it makes the scenes where they are trying to kill her more interesting. I think the biggest problem with the movie is that the Wachowskis are the victims of their own success – much like George Lucas. ‘The Matrix’ made so much money that I’m sure they are surrounded by yes-men who are too scared to say, “the story isn’t working, you need to show the audience why they need to be excited by this”. Plus, the pacing is a little off – too many later day George Lucas walk and talk scenes. That said, I think the sequence with the tax office was hilarious.

    I honestly think, if the Wachowskis were given a limited budget and forced to be creative like they were on the first Martix, they would come up with a great movie again.

    • Hey mate.
      I’d have to counter the Cloud Atlas claim check this article –
      All sources agree the production budget alone was over $100 million and ad in advertisement etc, I’d say most agree a world wide gross of just over $120 million is not a great return if any, not counting in the profit it may have raised on home video/vod formats.
      I think Jupiter may have a better cut out there somewhere but I feel the studio didn’t want to release their version, still maybe that even couldn’t of saved this from a pretty weak story.
      Agreed on the tax office scene that was the films most original highlight ha.
      And agreed also on the smaller budget idea, let them maybe tackle something where they can’t get carried away with pointless CGI.

      • That’s different from what I heard from my sources within the film industry – so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on “Cloud Atlas”.

        I think the problem with JA was that it was undercooked. I think it could have been their return to something like “The Matrix”, if it were developed more. As it is, it’s everything I hate about sci-fi. Needless CG, and endless talking about politics.

      • Yeh we might never know lad. I heard it was around 30 million from studios then they needed 70 mil from private investors to get it over the line as studios had cold feet.
        I also think Jupiter was killed by a terrible script. So much of it fell flat.

  9. I can agree with your dislike. It felt like it was meant to be several films but was spliced into one. It reminded me of the production of Labyrinth. Originally it was written one way and was rejected for being “too funny” for Michael Jackson. When they dropped him they wanted to original script back with all the jokes. So, script changes leave holes, unfortunately.

      • Sometimes its good to rewrite. It keeps the magic in the story. No matter, a few more flops and their run will end.

  10. I have tried and tried to watch this thing, but cannot get into it, my mind drifts away. The movie just slops along, boring me. Too bad.

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