Critic Vafa Motamedi reviews Jupiter Ascending

Written by Vafa Motamedi
Published

Jupiter Ascending isn’t very good. The latest film from the Wachowskis is a space opera, yet possess all the weaknesses inherent to that genre and next to none of its charms. The plot is a load of old tosh involving a war over earth between a bunch of space Rothschild siblings whose deceased mother (and queen) has been reincarnated as cleaning lady Mila Kunis. They want to kill her, space wolf-man Channing Tatum tries to save her and then things start to blow up.

jupiterkunisheadpiece-jupiter-ascending-mila-kunis-is-the-one-for-the-wachowskisThe action scenes are a series of incoherently edited messes that are made all the worse by put complete lack of interest in the characters. For much of the first 45 minutes the audience is kept in the dark about the motivation of the villains and this leads to a lack of weight to the any of the action. How are we meant o care about this endless fight scene when we don’t even know what they are fighting for?

The dialogue scenes are even worse, filled to the brim with mind-numbing exposition and confusing technobabble. And Sean Bean talking about how Bees love Mila Kunis’s character because they recognise royalty. He knows this because he is half bee. This is in the film.

The film is undoubtedly very pretty to look at and all props to the design team for creating such stunning visuals. The films real problem lies in its identity crisis. Does it want to be enjoyable camp like Flash Gordon or hard hitting sci -fi epic like Dune? Of course there’s no reason why it can’t be both (look at Star Wars) but the filmmakers never manage to reconcile the two opposing tones, leaving a film that is too dull to be fun and too silly to be taken seriously.

Rumours abound of studio interference but the idea that this film could have been even longer than it is already chills the blood.

Kunis and Tatum are giving it their all but are held back by their boring characters. Thank god then for Eddie Redmayne whose performance as the main antagonist rivals that of Ian Mcdiarmid’s in Revenge of The Sith for its gloriously hammy scenery chomping.

jupiter-ascending_nws7In the end, Ascending is less a case of a reach exceeding its grasp but a reach that doesn’t even know what it’s grasping for. All looks nice though.

Verdict

Three out of Ten

Vafa Motamedi

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