Last night the kids and I watched a sci-fi action film, written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (“The Matrix” trilogy, “Cloud Atlas”) called “Jupiter Ascending”.
At the beginning of the movie we are told that Jupiter Jones – named after her parents’ favourite planet – is born at sea as her mother travels from St. Petersburg to Chicago to start a new life after her husband (Jupiter’s father) is murdered.
Meanwhile, three siblings from the House of Abrasax, a most powerful royal dynasty on a distant planet, is going through a power struggle following the murder of their mother.
The three – Balem (Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory Of Everything”, “Black Death”), Kalique (Tuppence Middleton – “The Imitation Game”, “Cleanskin”) and Titus (Douglas Booth – “The Riot Club”, “LOL”) – argue over their inheritance with Balem having inherited Earth and Titus wanting to have it for himself.
It transpires that the Abrasax family business involves harvesting the populations of the planets that they own to produce a youth serum for the elite on other planets in order to extend their lives.
Balem and Titus have discovered that their mother’s DNA has been reincarnated in Jupiter and that her genetic code means that she is the rightful owner of Earth.
Titus sends former soldier and human / wolf hybrid Caine Wise (Channing Tatum – “The Eagle”, “Magic Mike”) to protect Jupiter from aliens that Balem has sent to kill her. Saving Jupiter from almost certain death turns out to be a task that he will have to repeat with amazing regularity throughout the duration of the movie!
Caine teams up with former comrade Stinger Apini (Sean Bean – “Outlaw”, “Black Death”) to help Jupiter escape Balem’s clutches and get to the planet Ores to claim her inheritance – but naturally this doesn’t prove to be an easy task with Balem out to get Jupiter and Titus’s motives unclear too…
This movie didn’t, I believe, do terribly well at the box office and has received incredibly bad reviews generally speaking – I’ve seen it referred to as the worst film of all time even – which is a shame. Now, granted the plot doesn’t make an awful lot of sense and there are some seriously drawn out action sequences that involve so much CGI that you wonder just how much acting goes on some times.
There are so many things going on it almost beggars belief. These include old-school grey aliens trying to abduct Jupiter’s lingerie-clad blonde friend, military-grade angels wings, bees that can smell royalty, jet propelled hover boots, an alien orgy(!), amazing space ships, steampunk, a very tongue-in-cheek admin scene, dinosaur demons, huge gothic structures on other worlds, a state wedding, etc. The acting isn’t bad, though it’s fair to say that easily the best performance is attributable to the villainous Redmayne.
However, for all the negatives and flaws something very positive remains – this is a visually sumptuous and generally very entertaining movie. My advice would be simple – don’t think about it too much, just sit back and let the spectacle unfold before your eyes…