Jupiter Ascending is the latest sci-fi film from the Wachowski siblings, formally known as the Wachowski brothers. The film follows the story of a woman named Jupiter (Mila Kunis), a house maid who's nearly killed by a group of savage, invisible aliens (and that's not even when the film begins to get weird). Her rescuer? The one and only Channing Tatum, or as he's called here, Caine Wise, because apparently space people have last names for first names. When escaping from the danger, they discover that Jupiter is the rightful owner of, y'know, Earth and all. It's at this point that the film gets REALLY weird and decides to stop making any sense.
The Wachowski's, who previously directed the visually appealing Matrix trilogy and the rather ambitious Cloud Atlas, certainly haven't lost their visual flare. Jupiter Ascending, if noting else, looks visually appealing, both in terms of special effects and cinematography. They film everything with such wonder and amazement, particularly the action sequences, an earlier one involving two space ships flying around the city comes to mind as being the most dazzling of the lot. The effects are glorious too, adding a sense of realism to this universe of wonder. The two haven't lost their sense of style just yet, even if their sense of storytelling disappeared years ago, Cloud Atlas being the only exception.
This is not a terrible movie, I'll say that, but it doesn't manage to offer a lot outside of the visuals realm. The first forty minutes were fun, but that's when the Wachowski's decided to give up on telling a cohesive and original story, replacing all of the much needed substance and depth with over the top and lengthy action sequences and the corniest dialogue I have heard in a long time. They went Michael Bay, that's what they did, and we all know that you never ever, under any circumstances go Michael Bay.
The only thing the actors in this film tried to do was get paid. None of them seem to care about the film at hand. All they seem to be doing is reading lines, barely satisfying the directors and going home with a cheque in hands. Channing Tatum has proven himself to be a surprisingly great actor, especially in Foxcatcher, and now he goes and does this. But at least he's not as embarrassing as Eddie Redmayne, who not only recently proved himself to be a good actor, but also scored an Oscar nomination. Then he gives a performance like this, and I'm still not sure what the hell he was doing during this film.
Not even the plot understands what it's doing either. Like I said, the film starts out fine. Sure, not a lot of it makes sense, but the start of a film doesn't have to, for we know everything will eventually be explained later, right? RIGHT?!? Nope. The plot is a mess, showing origin stories that are utterly ridiculous and make little impact to the story at hand, or adding in various characters and enemies to help fill up the runtime when in actual fact they too make no impact to the actual story. It's an uneven mess that changes directions every twenty or so minutes.
Unfortunately though, it's more than just the plot that fails to make sense. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING in this movie makes any sort of sense. There's so many unanswered questions that you'll have floating around in your head once the credits begin to role. Questions such as, why did Mila Kunis suddenly appear on that ship when she was on Earth like 5 minutes ago? Why does that man have an elephant head? What the hell is Sean Bean doing here? Is this really directed by the same people that made The Matrix? Why is Terry Gilliam in this movie? Why isn't he the one directing this movie? What's the point of Eddie Redmayne being in this? And various other questions that you will never get an answer too. It's all a bit painful, really.
To sum up, Jupiter Ascending may prove that the Wachowski siblings can still make visually appealing films, but it also confirms that they've lost their skills in writing, providing us with a dumb, long, poorly acted and illogical movie with various unneeded sub-plots.