Jupiter Ascending is one of the year’s big cinematic blunders, a bad movie of the first order. This folly is a mega-budgeted picture with name talent on both sides of the camera, like 47 Ronin or Babylon A.D., nothing works and we are left looking at flashy images on-screen without a vested interest or any character to root for. Maybe after receiving criticism over the complicated narrative developments of their unfairly overlooked epic Cloud Atlas, The Wachowski’s intentionally simplified their story to the barest elements. Or the extended and reportedly difficult post-production process cut sections that presumably, would have made things clearer.
Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is the daughter of a scientist and mathematician. Her father was murder long ago while her mother was still pregnant. Now, her elder mother cleans toilets for rich people. Jupiter spends her time employed under a seemingly indentured servitude to her uncle. He rules like a dictator and forces the ladies to clean four houses in a day.
This is before Jupiter is whisked away by Cain Wise (Channing Tatum) a solider from the outer verse. He’s come to recall the maid from Earth back to her majestic glory on a distant planet. On this outer world a bitter sibling rivalry is occurring in the house of Abrasax. Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Titus and Kalique all scheme for Jupiter’s head, each with their own nefarious intentions.
Sean Bean appears as a policeman like character with an agency that does the royal’s bidding. Of course, a love affair develops between the genetically modified Caine and Jupiter. This is carried out with exactly zero chemistry between Kunis and Tatum, both capable actors, but left stranded by awkward dialogue and material.
Eddie Redmayne gives a laughably bad portrayal in the role of villain. He’s got to be thankful this movie was pushed back a full year, clearing the way for his march to OSCAR victory this past February. Not since Norbit was in theaters as Eddie Murphy was stumping for his critically praised performance in Dreamgirls, has an actor had that close of a call with a blowing their chances due to a bad movie.
Director: The Wachowskis
Stars: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne