|A cluttered, unoriginal blockbuster that entertains.
Directed by Andy and Lana Wachoswki
Produce by Grant Hill and Andy and Lana Wachoswki
Written by Andy and Lana Wachoswki
Starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne and Douglas Booth
Following their ambitious adaptation of Cloud Atlas, the Wachowskis have delved into another sci-fi spectacle that spans multiple worlds. The dizzying chain of events all begins with Jupiter Jones (Kunis), a seemingly ordinary maid working for her uncle. However, greater forces are at play in the universe. When a genetically-engineered dog/man named Caine Wise (Tatum) appears, Jupiter learns that she is actually a reincarnated princess from another planet. She must claim her throne, or else Balem Abrasax (Redmayne), a powerful member of alien royalty, will harvest all life on Earth and destroy her family. To protect her loved ones, Jupiter must fight to reclaim her royal rights and fulfill her destiny.
Despite being a clichéd mess, this functions as mindless, overblown entertainment. The film is not short on colorful visuals and dazzling visual effects, while it boasts several action sequences and has fun with ludicrous character and set design. Granted, the screenplay is lacking in any form of originality or insightful, engaging dialogue, but it's hard to avoid being swept into this guilty pleasure. Of the cast, Tatum attempts to give a real performance, and it's very welcome, as most of the cast are on autopilot, unlike the floundering, flat Redmayne. (Seriously, he's actually trying something - that fails - here.) Though it's a mass of flaws with some thrills and grand visuals, it does entertain, no matter how far it sinks. If Jupiter Ascending is a bad movie, it's one I really enjoyed.
Oscar Potential: Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects