‘JUPITER ASCENDING’: An Entertaining Space Opera

June 17, 2015 14 Comments

I have a confession to make. Movies the critics bash seem to be titles that draw me to them. This is one such film. Critics found the movie ridiculous and had very few nice things to say about this however I knew that given the opinions of people I did trust, this would be a must see for me.  

Jupiter Ascending (2015) Film Review

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) hates her life. Before she was born, her father was murdered back when her mother lived in Russia. Her father had a curious mind who loved the stars. His death left her mother heartbroken and because of this, she left behind life as she knew it for America. Now, all grown up, Jupiter works as a maid, cleaning the homes of the wealthy along with her mother (Maria Doyle Kennedy).  What Jupiter doesn’t know is the destiny the stars spoke of the night she was born is about to come calling in the form of a genetically engineered hunter by the name of Caine Wise (Channing Tatum).    

Caine is hired by one of three royal siblings to bring Jupiter back to their world. Titus (Douglas Booth) has his reasons for wanting Jupiter, but then so does his brother Balem (Eddie Redmayne). What Caine doesn’t know is that they may all have different reasons for wanting Jupiter but she is actually a royal herself. Her DNA signature marks her as the new ruler of Earth and as such, her claim is desired by more than one sinister plotter.  

Sometimes the silliest movies are the ones that are the most fun. This is Jupiter Ascending. Its world is unique and fun to visit while at the same time, this is one film that didn’t wind up being anything I expect of it. The one thing I’m wary of it was the setting. I’m not the biggest aficionado of space-set stories (with exception to the re-booted adaptations of Star Trek, which I love). However, for a while, this movie keeps its feet firmly planted on Earth. This is especially true since many of the special effects aren’t up to par. The sequence with Jupiter at Striker’s (who Sean Bean plays) is really pretty as is the scene later on with Jupiter in Titus’ castle. (Seriously, that latter scene is visually gorgeous!)

Two things might rub some viewers the wrong way. One being the case of insta-love this presents. I didn’t mind Jupiter and Caine’s interaction in the least (it’s barely there in the beginning) and then all of the sudden Jupiter has an instant case of attraction. But if there is likely to be a lot of discomfort for a viewer, it’d be the plot. Despite this being set in our current times, this film has more of a dystopian agenda. The plot takes away a person’s choice by giving the royals power over humans. They use humans to extract their DNA, using it for themselves and to grow more powerful over their subjects. Because of this, the plot takes a bizarre detour or two, however it’s too much fun to be overmuch of a bother; especially considering the film has a kick-butt kind of heroine. And Caine. ‘Nuff said.  

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That opener seems like as good time as any to brag about that cast. I love everyone. Sean Bean is fabulous as always, Mila is really good, and Channing plays the role epically well. He may not be a real contender for future Oscar wins, but he’s wonderful in these roles, and Caine seems tailor-made for him. I love how protective and thoughtful he is of Jupiter. The balance plays well because as time goes on, Jupiter learns how to defend herself and comes to understand the “burden” that she now has. What’s so interesting about the supporting cast is the number of British talent that crop up. Everyone from Tuppance Middleton (The Lady Vanishes) to Douglas Booth (Great Expectations) appear and of course, we see Maria Doyle Kennedy again who is well-known for playing Katherine in The Tudors and later, Mr. Bates wife in Downton Abbey.

‘JUPITER ASCENDING’: An Entertaining Space Opera. A young woman learns a "hunter" seeks her to return her to celestial world. Text © Rissi JC

If you like fun, popcorn films, Jupiter Ascending is the very definition of that. There isn’t a lot of substance to the movie (apart from the message of sacrifice and protecting those we love), but it’s just the kind of late-night movie I want. If you like movies like Star Trek (not anywhere close to the story, instead this comparison comes from the world – i.e., space) or Cowboys and Aliens, then this is definitely a movie for you. It’s more romantic than either one of those, which means it’s definitely a swoon-worthy moment after moment of spectacular.  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Jupiter Ascending digitally on Amazon Video

Content: there is one or two instances of full backside nudity. Otherwise, the rating is mainly for the sci-fi action sequences and multiple deaths that occur in battle. The finale in particular wracks up the death count. There are some “ceepy” looking dudes that are also a part of Balem’s army. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Carlyn Brody June 17, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    I thought the movie was visually stunning and the costumes and scenery was breathtaking. I thought the plot was a little silly and disturbing. I couldn't get over some of the plot holes but I would still buy this film just for the eye candy.

    • Rissi June 18, 2015 at 8:48 PM

      Well said, Carlyn. I did think the plot could have been stronger (which I probably didn't really discuss above), but overall, as an entertaining piece of eye candy, this was really fun (hence my rating it four stars). Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

  • Amanda Holmes June 17, 2015 at 5:55 PM

    It looks like an interesting film! I may have to get it from Redbox.;)

    • Rissi June 18, 2015 at 8:49 PM

      That's what it was for sure, Amanda. Interesting… but also fun. :)

  • Kara June 17, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    It sounds just about what I thought maybe it was, if I disregarded all the stuff the critics said. Fun, full of eye candy, and entertaining. Not one to be watched to create food for thought, but just enjoyed for what it is. Great review! Now I think I'll definitely have to try and find a copy soon. :)

    • Rissi June 18, 2015 at 8:51 PM

      Usually I have the opposite opinion of movies the ("important") critics bash. I tend to agree more with my "critic" friends than anyone else (i.e., Silver Petticoat, Ruth or anyone else who reviews films that I avidly follow). Basically, yes. This was a fun piece of eye candy and you say it best. This isn't meant to be a "food for thought" kind of story. That's part of what makes it fun! I'd love to hear what you think if/when you see it, Kara. Always value your opinion. :)

  • Dawn Janis June 18, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    I'm going to rent it when it comes out.

    • Rissi June 18, 2015 at 8:52 PM

      Let me know what you think, Dawn… once you see it. I thought it was plain ol' fun. Sometimes that's just what I'm looking for. :)

    • Dawn Janis June 19, 2015 at 2:11 AM

      Of course I kinda fell in love with Eddie when he was Marius. I'd never heard of him before. So I try to catch most of his movies now.

    • Rissi June 19, 2015 at 6:36 PM

      I've seen him in a couple of things, but am not sure what those productions are just now. ;) Anyway, Eddie is fantastic in this movie! He seems to have a lot of fun getting into this role, which makes it fun for us to watch.

  • Bekah M. June 29, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    Like you I usually like the movies that get low ratings as well ('I Am Number Four' and 'Mom's Night Out' come to mind), but I have to admit. I was definitely a "hater" when it came to this one. Lol!! It was *too* silly for me, and I couldn't help laughing out loud at scenes where I'm not sure it was appropriate to haha (but then again, the whole movie theater was laughing at those scenes as well so who knows!). I think I may have been especially disappointed too because they filmed in my hometown, so I've known about it a while and was very much anticipating it. BUT I loved the actors (eye candy much?!) and it was visually stunning with the gorgeous costumes and makeup and awesome graphics! And, like you said, it was just light-hearted fun. ;) Great review, Rissi, loved reading your thoughts on this one! :D

    • Rissi June 30, 2015 at 1:27 AM

      There's nothing wrong with that, Bekah. I know what you mean about this being too silly – and sometimes part of the fun of a movie that is *that* bad is giggling at the entire thing. Even if that wasn't the intended purpose. ;)

      I liked the Chicago setting, but totally get the anticipation only to be let down. Divergent was too, right?

      I agree. You summed this up perfectly, it is good light-hearted fun! Sometimes that's the only kind of movie I want and I think if a viewer doesn't take this too seriously, that's what they would walk away from. Plus, as you say, this cast…!? YES!

  • Anonymous August 10, 2015 at 1:34 AM

    I missed this one so I may rent it just for the scenery and costumes !

    • Rissi December 29, 2015 at 11:45 PM

      Apologies for missing your comment, Deanne. I hope if you saw this one you enjoyed the costumes. :)

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