Dir: Andy and Lana Wachowski
Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean
Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending. Pic/Santa Banta
'Jupiter Ascending' has been cooking since a long time. It was supposed to come out in late 2013, then pushed to mid 2014 and again to late 2014, and was slated to finally release in January, which is more famously known as the compost pit of Hollywood — where the most hopeless and least profitable films from every studio are dumped. Probably to save the face of the Wachowskis and to rely on their fan following, the film was pushed to February. It doesn't matter though as the film tanks big time.
Generally, movies that have been long delayed are perceived to have been so because they aren't very good. Such was the suspicion with Jupiter Ascending, and it's quite frustrating that the film actually lives up to the suspicion. After delivering one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, and cult hits in the form of 'Speed Racer' and 'Cloud Atlas', the Wachowskis this time attempt fantasy, and the results are, well, not good at all.
The film chronicles the story of an average girl named Jupiter (Mila Kunis) who turns out to be, wait for it, the queen of the universe. The format is exactly the same as 'The Matrix' — someone thought to be an everyman is 'The One', and is whisked away by a mysterious figure (this time played by Channing Tatum in dog ears) and brought into the rabbit hole full of mystery and wonder. The One then must meet the overlords of the universe who actually control everything that happens on Earth and use humans as fuel for rejuvenating themselves. It's quite bizarre that the Wachowskis repeat their shtick just a decade after the final 'Matrix' movie.
It's one thing to repeat themselves, but it's another to render a movie so dull and unimpressive that it makes you wonder if other forces were actually controlling the Wachowskis. The most basic aspect of the movie — the action — is utterly loud, generic and underwhelming. There are space ships, giant vistas of the cosmos, otherworldly creatures, laser guns, gigantic set pieces of both action and art, and yet the film doesn't create an iota of interest. It doesn't help that the film is also in 3D that further diminishes the already dull imagery on the screen.
Mila Kunis is also horribly miscast, stuck between being a kid and an adult, unsure of which audience to cater to. Channing Tatum looks bored out of his wits, and, at times, aware of the disappointing outcome of the film. Sean Bean also shows up as someone who controls bees, but is almost incoherent, just like the mythology of the film. The only bright spark is a tiny rage fuelled outburst by Eddie Redmayne whose villain will go down as one of the least threatening bad guys in recent cinematic history.