Movie Review – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

WARNING:  REINCARNATED SPACE SPOILERS AHEAD

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time, mainly because I feel like they’ve been promoting in forever.  Given that it is up against Seventh Son, a fantasy film, nerds have plenty to watch this weekend, though these films may be cannibalizing one another’s profits since their core audiences are going to be the same contingent of geeks and dweebs.

That’s not an insult geeks and dweebs.  I am one of you.

And sadly, since they’re both movies that cater to a younger crowd, I think they’re both going to be trounced by…dun dun dun… Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water.

But enough about business talk.

The plot?  It turns out that worlds aren’t so much natural occurrences as they are business assets of a corporation owned The Abrasax family.  The three heirs, played by Eddie Redmayne , Tuppence Middleton, and Douglas Booth, as heirs to a fortune often do, squabble over their inheritances, always trying to gain more planets for themselves.

But they don’t want to rule them.  They want to harvest them.  We’re all basically cattle and once a planet’s population exceeds its resources, the Abrasaxes have all of the people killed and somehow they are turned into a juice that can be bathed in to reverse the aging process.

Umm…good luck with that.  All I can say is if you bathe in a juice made out of me, you’re going to be pretty disgusted.

Somehow, and they don’t really explain how, but Jupiter Jones, played by Mila Kunis, is a reincarnated version of the Abrasax kids’s mother.  That’s a problem for them, seeing as how their mother, before being murdered by Redmayne’s character, Balem, wrote it into her will that her reincarnated self would inherit Earth.

Sidenote – this movie realized that I’ve done very little to ensure that my assets will be transferred to my reincarnated self, and thus as soon as I’m done writing this review, I’m going to get my attorney on the horn posthaste.

Keep in mind that at the start of the film, Jupiter has no idea that she’s a reincarnated space queen.  She was born a Russian immigrant and cleans rich people’s toilets for a living.

Middleton’s character, Kalique, is happy to have a version of her mother back.  Booth’s Titus contrives a scheme to marry Jupiter, claiming that doing so will protect Earth and keep it out of Balem’s grubby mitts.  However, Titus has his own evil plans.

Here’s a rundown of a conversation I had with the Wachowskis in my mind as I watched the film:

ME:  So this guy is trying to marry a reincarnated version of his mother?

WACHOWSKIS:  Yes.

ME:  That isn’t incest?

WACHOWSKIS:  No.  She’s not actually his mother.  She’s his reincarnated mother.

ME:  But she’s his mother brought back to life so…

WACHOWSKIS:  SHUT UP AND WATCH THE PRETTY SPECIAL EFFECTS!!!!

Anyway, Channing Tatum plays Jupiter’s protector, Caine Wise, a human-wolf hybrid, and at this point, the man’s abs must be a multi-million dollar business.

HOLLYWOOD:  Channing, we want you in our next picture.

CHANNING:  I’m gonna have to charge you a million per ab.

And much to my surprise, Sean Bean was in the movie and he didn’t die.  He dies in every movie he’s in, so it was kind of a disappointment that his character didn’t bite the dust, buy the farm, or kick the bucket.

All in all, for a February film, it was pretty decent.  I’ve seen ads for this forever, and when a movie is hyped for this long, you kind of go into it expecting your socks to be knocked off, and usually they never are.  But sci-fi nerds and space geeks will be pleased.  The Wachowskis of Matrix fame are masters of the genre and they don’t disappoint with their special effects skills.  People fly, there’s space craft warfare, and so on.

Plus, the scene lampooning the bureaucratic process that Jupiter has to go through to be named Queen was amusing.

One minor complaint – there were a lot of characters, aliens, technologies, organizations – in short, just a lot going on.  It leaves you with questions that unfortunately a movie just doesn’t have time to answer.

The special effects alone are worth seeing on the big screen though, and let’s face it, you’ve got nothing else better to do this weekend, so go see it.

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5 thoughts on “Movie Review – Jupiter Ascending (2015)

  1. jimbelton says:

    Nice review. I saw the pic last night and gave it *** (B). It’s nice to see space opera on the big screen again. GTG last year, now Jupiter Ascending, and soon, Star Wars VII. Here’s hoping that’s at least this good.

  2. bbshepherd says:

    It came out in February? It doesn’t seem that long ago. I’m glad you liked it. Movies like this usually have me feeling defensive because I can see the weaknesses and can imagine what die-hard critics will say, but dang it, I enjoyed it and so did my much more critical daughter. It was very pretty, I loved the leads, the story was interesting and not as formulaic as I expected. I love Mila and had no previous opinion of Tatum, but I liked him in this, though I think we might have liked it even more without the romance. Anyway, I liked it enough to buy the video but haven’t re-watched it yet. That solves the dilemma of what I’m going to watch tonight. 🙂

    • Thanks! Yeah, it was panned by the critics but I enjoyed it. Star Wars is great but the only problem is it made it practically impossible to have any other space opera movie without it being compared and few if any ever live up to the the original Star Wars, even the prequels.

      • bbshepherd says:

        Exactly. I love Star Wars too . . . I’m an original Trekkie (meaning I watched the original run and was a huge fan – yes, I’m that old!), but Star Wars (which I saw on my local opening night) surpassed it and everything before it, in my opinion. At the time, it was mind-blowing in every way. The only thing that’s come even close to it in my affection and imagination is Guardians of the Galaxy.

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