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.‘JUPITER ASCENDING’: An Entertaining Space Opera #FWarchives #Movies Click To Tweet
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.
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.
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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.