According to Kalique Abrasax (Tuppence Middleton), one of the three royal heirs to the most powerful dynasty in the galaxy, time —not oil, water or some sparkly mineral— is the most precious commodity in our solar system. Ironically, time happens to be the one thing working against Jupiter Ascending’s once-adored directors, the Wachowskis, these days.
Fifteen years ago, the siblings rewrote the book on sci-fi cinema when Neo first donned a leather jacket and swallowed a pill. But in nearly every instance since The Matrix (The Matrix Revolutions, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas), the duo has failed to recreate much in the way of movie magic. Tick, tick, tick… Oh, that’s just the sound of their fans’ growing impatience.
In this latest jumbled attempt to keep up with the Christopher Nolans and Joss Whedons of the world, they introduce us to Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), the daughter of poor Russian immigrants, who’s relegated to a life of waking up at 4:45 a.m. to clean rich people’s toilets. Can’t you just smell the Cinderella-ish plotline from a planet away?
But Jupiter’s mundane existence changes when creepy lil’ aliens hired by the whispery Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne) attempt to kill her one day, when she sneaks off to sell her eggs under a false name in order to buy a telescope in memory of her slain father. No, seriously… the story is just that convoluted.
At the same time, Titus Abrasax (Douglas Booth) hires genetically-engineered bounty hunter Caine (Channing Tatum) to capture Jupiter for his own selfish reasons.
All the fuss over the lowly housekeeper is a result of her having a genetic sequence that perfectly matches the late matriarch of the Abrasax empire, making Jupiter the rightful heir to Earth. You might call this phenomenon “reincarnation.” But the Wachowskis call it a “recurrence.”
Sadly, that’s pretty much all you’ll be able to decipher about the plot in one screening. The Wachowskis simply don’t take the time to explain much else. So you’ll have to save logical questions like, “Why did they wait so long to find Jupiter?” or “How can people breath without suits sometimes, but not others?” None of that really matters anyway.
You’re simply supposed to be awed by Caine’s slick flying boots and his slow-motion fight sequences with talking dragons. And truthfully, the visuals are a very pretty distraction sometimes. But after 15 minutes of high-speed spaceship chases over Chicago’s city skyline, you still can’t help looking down at your watch, remembering that time is a fairly precious commodity in our world as well… –DeMarco Williams
GENRE: Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy
DIRECTED BY: Andy and Lana Wachowski
WRITTEN BY: Andy and Lana Wachowski
MAIN CAST: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne
STUDIO: Warner Bros. Pictures