Written and Directed by The Wachowskis / Starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne
The critically lambasted and financial flop, JUPITER ASCENDING is akin to putting lipstick on a pig; it’s just not pretty no matter how much you dress it up. That said, I genuinely porked out, with masochistic glee, on the excesses and the sheer ridiculousness of this movie.
Mila Kunis (robbed of an Oscar nomination for BLACK SWAN) plays Jupiter Jones, a flawlessly coiffed toilet cleaning maid, who is saved from a death-by-aliens by Legionnaire bounty hunter Caine Wise, a pointy eared, wolf-like, often shirtless Channing Tatum (robbed of an Oscar nomination for FOXCATCHER). She’s whisked away to safety due to the really cool looking shoes Caine wears that can make him fly. Safely ensconced in a farm owned by fellow Legionnaire named Stinger (Sean Bean from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy), Jupiter is confused as to why she is constantly being addressed as “Her Majesty”. Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, a Shakespeare-lite power struggle between three siblings further complicates the already clear as mud plotline. Led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING) in a performance so deliciously over the top that it makes Faye Dunaway’s performance in MOMMIE DEAREST understated, we learn why they all want to own the planet Earth and why they may or may not want Jupiter dead.
I humbly submit my primer on how to enjoy JUPITER ASCENDING. Watch it with the subtitles on to make sense of the convoluted plot. It still won’t help a great deal, but you won’t feel like you’ve missed essential details. Enjoy the chemistry between Tatum and Kunis while trying not to compare them to Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder (he flies and she’s the damsel in distress). Most importantly, keep a scorecard and jot down every movie that scenes in this one are stolen from. From GRAVITY and PACIFIC RIM to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, I stopped counting at 11. Lastly, feel confident in the fact that the executives at Warner Brothers who greenlit the $175 million dollar budget to make JUPITER ASCENDING are now doing the exact same thing Jupiter Jones did before she was whisked away to the stars.