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Jupiter Ascending

Coming Soon

It would be remiss to fail to mention the fact that Jupiter Ascending was originally slated to be released in July of 2014. As it ended up, for “unknown reasons” of course, its release was pushed all the way to February 6, 2015. It was later said that some of the effects needed to be reworked, but that sounds like the studio’s propaganda division spinning a deceitful web of misdirection. At any rate, the movie has finally arrived and audiences can reach their own conclusions as to the reasons for delay. As for my opinion, I’ll sum it up in a few short paragraphs.

Earth is nothing more than a small slice of pie in a giant universal bakery, as seen through the eyes of the Wachowski siblings, who both wrote and directed this fantasy adventure. Jupiter Ascending is headlined by Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones and Channing Tatum as Caine. Jupiter becomes the focal point of a family squabble between two brothers, Balem (Eddie Redmayne) and Titus (Douglas Booth), and a sister, Kalique (Tuppence Middleton). These siblings were bequeathed various planets, including Earth, from their now deceased mother who lived many millennia as royalty before mysteriously passing on. As the cosmic cloak and dagger continues to plays itself out, motives become increasingly clearer in regards to individual endgames. Caine (Tatum) is basically a tracker tasked with locating Jupiter. His responsibilities change however, once he discovers that she’s in grave danger. Jupiter is thrust into a new universe beyond her understanding as she attempts to come to grips with all of these revelations.

Jupiter Ascending had it’s moments, but the overall body of work leaves much to be desired as the negatives definitely outweigh the positives. On a good note, the visual effects were pleasant, colorful and not overly distracting. On the flip side, there are conceptual flaws that leaves heads shaking. These issues can be lumped under a lack of originality. Just focusing on Tatum’s character alone there are a few points worth mentioning. Staying on “point” here, Spock wants his ears back. Seriously we’re still doing the pointy ear thing? Caine’s preferred choice of transportation? He raced around in space skates for a good portion of the film which looks striking similar in style and movement to the Silver Surfer of Fantastic Four fame. The Wachowskis must also be huge fans of Flash Gordon because they borrowed heavily from this one in several instances. But as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

It’s unfortunate that Jupiter Ascending is underwhelming and less original than hoped. Had a few aspects been done differently, it could have been a mild success. As the situation stands, everyone will most likely write this one off and maybe catch it at home. If you are planning on seeing it in the theaters and are contemplating spending the extra money on the 3D version – don’t. Hopefully for Tatum this is a lesson learned and he avoids such honey traps in the future. Otherwise, he could end up being the second coming of Nicolas Cage. As for the Wachowskis, I fear their best days have long past and the success of The Matrix is but a distant, fading memory.

Jupiter Ascending is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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