Since the Matrix trilogy ended, the Wachowski directorial siblings have struck out. Subsequent outings ‘Speed Racer’ and ‘Cloud Atlas’ became costly flops. Their latest ‘Jupiter Ascending’ will do nothing to arrest their box office curse. Although displaying creative imagination for which they are renowned, the sci-fi epic quickly falls apart under the weight of endless exposition.
Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) ekes out a living as a cleaner. She meets Caine (Channing Tatum), a warrior tasked to protect her. Whilst explaining Jupiter’s destiny, Caine reveals she is an evolved alien of royal nobility and is in line to be earth’s ruler. Aggrieved is her brother Balem (Eddie Redmayne) who wants Earth for himself. Determined to destroy any interlopers, Balem schemes to eradicate Jupiter from existence, with only Caine’s lethal skills ready to protect her.
‘Jupiter Ascending’ is a poorly written and acted film on a grand scale. Whilst action scenes and CGI are incredible, none of it matters due to a bad script. Chief amongst its flaws is the failure to successfully establish its alien universe. Characters appear without explanation of their function to the story with Jupiter’s role in the cosmic puzzle never clearly defined. It doesn’t help that her character is reduced to a helpless screamer making her claims to nobility laughable.
Kunis’ performance as Jupiter is as equally appalling as her co-stars. Saddled with an unfocussed story, the actors follow suit by never fully realising their character’s potential. The Wachowski’s appear so enraptured with the dazzling CGI they forgot about telling a gripping tale. It all looks very pretty with plenty of gadgets confirming ideas for a toy-line must have passed the Wachowski’s gaze.
A disappointing effort ‘Jupiter Ascending’ quickly goes nowhere. The Wachowski’s can and have done better. Hopefully they can re-discover their story-telling mojo matching their visual flair for space-age pyrotechnics.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 3
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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