The trailer for this movie looks interesting enough. Jupiter Ascending promises a heroine’s journey against the backdrop of a grand cosmic landscape. As far as blockbusters go, that fits the bill for two hours of distraction.
Unfortunately for a film so grand in scale, Jupiter Ascending can be summarized in one word – meh.
Jupiter Ascending is a beautiful visual-effects driven movie. But the rest of the movie has nothing new, interesting, or memorable to offer.
It has creatures you can see from Mos Eisley Cantina. There are less colorful spaceships imported from the Guardians of Galaxy. You get laser battles reminiscent of Star Wars. These are all set against backdrops copied from the Matrix. Sprinkle that with steampunk, Victorian, and Gothic styles.
It doesn’t know what it wants to be – a cosmic fairytale? soap opera in space? interstellar capitalism? Then it tries to tackle a whole bunch of ideas – the limits of time in an infinite universe, nature vs. nurture, bureaucracy, and ethics.
It has stereotypical characters that the film has no time to flesh out. Mila Kunis is the forgettable Jupiter Jones. Channing Tatum is Cain Wise the literal lone wolf. Sean Bean is Stinger the plot device. Eddie Redmayne is Balem Abrasax as the power-hungry diva. The rest of the cast is a blur with token POC in the background.
In the end, Jupiter Ascending is about a lot of things and in the process becomes about nothing. It’s unclear what’s at stake here and nothing is worth investing in.
At its best Jupiter Ascending is a pretty blockbuster for people who don’t care about the story and characters. At its worst, it’s a blockbuster that nobody would have paid attention to if it weren’t for the names attached to it.
Jupiter Ascending is a pretty but jumbled space opera with no one worth investing in.