I wanted to like Jupiter Ascending, I really did! The initial trailer was interesting – Mila Kunis is pleasant on the eye and Channing Tatum‘s star is in the ascendancy, so to speak. Ok, so it’s made by “The Wachowskis” (can’t call them brothers any more), but they did make The Matrix right? There must be some semblance of talent still lurking inside them? Right?
There’s no mistaking that these particular siblings have an eye for production design – all their films look fantastic. The originality of The Matrix revived the Sci-Fi genre and was an intelligent piece of filmmaking. The next two were utter cash-ins and paled into the abyss when compared to the original. And please don’t tell me they were meant to be a trilogy; I’m not buying it. Never have I been so disappointed at the conclusion of a story than when watching the denouement of Revolutions. I’d invested over 400 minutes of my life and got nothing back! Nothing!
Sorry…I digress. So, The Matrix and Cloud Atlas (once again, interesting if slightly flawed) aside, we’re back to type I’m afraid. There are many things wrong with Jupiter Ascending but it is, undeniably, a good looking film. Unfortunately we’re all gloss and no substance. Clunking exposition to make sure the viewer is keeping up with proceedings is never a good thing. The vacuum of space is equally matched by the vacuum of the narrative. The problem I have with The Wachowskis is their ability to use the writing as an attempt to show how intelligent they are – I refer you to the multi-syllabic diatribe given by The Architect in Reloaded as a prime example. Here we have unintelligence masquerading as intelligence. “We’ll bamboozle you with a “complex” universe we’ve created to show you how brilliant we are!”
There’s no getting away from the disinterest in Channing Tatum’s eyes as he dials in a performance as the protector of our protagonist. And that’s to take nothing away from his acting abilities – he just seems bored with the whole proceedings. I don’t blame him. As the narrative plods along, interspersed with so-called “exciting” moments of action, I found myself getting slightly heavy-lidded by the viewing experience. Even the Oscar-darling-in-waiting Eddie Redmayne pulls his performance from the standard handbook of English-accented villains – Type C I believe. We’ve seen it all before and nothing’s going to provide any form of “Wow” factor.
All-in-all Jupiter Ascending is 127 minutes of cinematic viewing I’m never getting back. Chalk this one up to another misstep by The Wachowskis and move on swiftly. I’d rather sit through The Interview again…and that’s saying something!
Thank you for reading 🙂