Jupiter Ascending: A Space Wreck Soap Opera

Its been a long time since I watched a movie that made me want my money back. The last time such a moment occurred was when I went to see the complete and utter disaster that was M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. This was a lot like that.

If it wasn’t obvious yet, this is not a particularly positive review. This movie passes the feminist praised “Bechtel Test” in which two women in the film discuss a topic unrelated to men. This movie also proves that passing this test does not automatically make a good movie, which is also obvious. Warning Spoilers Ahead!

Where to begin? I suppose I should have known this movie was going to be terrible from the abuse of the Russian language that began. Let me explain. The movie opens with the meeting of two people, Jupiter’s parents…in St. Petersburg, which is of course, all snowy because as we all know St. Petersburg, like the rest of Russia has only one season, Winter. Maria Doyle Kennedy plays Jupiter’s (Mila Kunis) mother, a Russian citizen. While the actress is I’m sure incredibly talented, her Russian was jumbled, confusing and impossible to understand without the subtitles. This is coming from a Russian speaker. Mila Kunis, who is Jewish and originally from the Ukraine is the maybe two people out of the entirety of her character’s family who can actually speak Russian.

But fine, the Russian language is incredibly complex and not everyone can speak it as well as others. However, perhaps the poor Russian is a clue. The clue being “watch out, things are going to turn for the worst.”

And boy did they.

Aside from stereotypical portrayal of Russians and refugees to the point of insult, we see later an adult Jupiter working as a cleaning lady at the business run by her family. One particular day she decides to sell her eggs because she wants a telescope. Instead of extracting eggs from her, however the doctor and nurses turn out to be aliens. She is saved from death by Channing Tatum’s character, Caine. Caine is half wolf, dog, person, albino, genetic something or other. He takes her to see Sean Bean (and yes, he lives in this one) where bees declare her to be royalty.  This is where the adventure takes off.

L-R: Balen, Titus, and Kalique

The weirdness of this movie continues with the screwed up Abrasax family consisting of three children of a great queen, Balen (The main bad guy) Kalique (mix) and Titus. Titus, the youngest while having an obsession with Greek heroes, also seems to have a bit of an Oedipus complex. Jupiter as it turns out is the reincarnation of their mother who died at the tender age of 9000. As such, she now owns earth because the planets in the area are controlled by these people…or something.

The two sons (Balen and Titus) wanted to kill her, well Titus wants to marry her and then kill her. Kalique explains that oil and resources are all irrelevant. The true commodity is Time, which as it turns out is actually taken to the disturbing. 

Beyond the plot holes this movie has rather sad acting given the good actors that are in this movie. This is likely due to the truly horrendous and stereotypical characterization. The bad guy is silent, wears lot of black, and is meant to be some kind of calculating and intimidating figure…he is actually neither of those things. Jupiter is a damsel for most of the movie and her relationship with Caine is very forced.

Can ANYTHING be salvaged from this movie? Cool special affects and a few nicely choreographed fight scenes, as well as costumes make the movie a nice piece of mindless entertainment. It has been described as a “so bad its good” kind of movie. There were interesting parts to this movie, the writers certainly created an interesting other-worldly environment. But failed to explore it or utilize it in the right way.

Final Verdic. 2.5 Maginifying glasses or a D+/C-

Magnifying StarMagnifying Star

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2 Responses »

  1. I feel like the we can safely say that almost any movie that Sean Bean survives (aside from National Treasure) is going to suck.

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