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Jupiter Ascending

Reviewed by Galen Strickland

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to review this film since I don't recommend it. As I stated in my review of Cloud Atlas, the Wachowski siblings have an uneven record at both critical and box-office success. One of these days I'll get around to reviewing The Matrix, which came out a year or so before I started this site. The original was unique and ground-breaking, its sequels not worth mentioning again. I never bothered with Speed Racer, but really liked Cloud Atlas. Even though their latest got a lot of negative press both before and after release, I was still interested if only for the visuals. Trouble is, that is all the film has going for it. They are very impressive, but visual effects should enhance the story, not be the whole story, and in this case they can't outweigh the ridiculously cliched script and weak acting. A more proper title would have been Wachowskis Plummeting.

This movie borrows so many tropes and situations from multiple sources, but it's basically the "lost princess" or "Cinderella" story in SF clothing. In this case, the evil step-person is not a mother, but rather a child, but to explain that would be a spoiler. I shouldn't worry about that, but anyone who still has an interest in this should be able to let the story unfold on its own. I've never been impressed by either Mila Kunis or Channing Tatum before, and that is still the case. Eddie Redmayne did such a remarkable job in his Oscar-winning performance as Stephen Hawking, but it wouldn't be inappropriate to ask him to forfeit the trophy for his very unsubtle and mannered work here. Hopefully he can bounce back in a better film. Cosplay is very big at conventions these days, and this film might have inspired several remarkable costumes if not for the fact it will probably be forgotten before the next con rolls around.

I will reveal one spoiler though, since it is the only thing that surprised me. Sean Bean's character doesn't die. Otherwise a very forgettable experience. Good thing I waited until it was at the discount theater and only cost me 50, and yet I still felt like asking for a refund.


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Andy & Lana Wachowski

February 6, 2015

Mila Kunis
Channing Tatum
Sean Bean
Eddie Redmayne
Douglas Booth
Tuppence Middleton
Nikki Amuka-Bird

Full Credits at IMDb

On DVD & Blu-Ray
June 2