Folks dump on the Wachowski (uh) siblings for not making a single good movie since The Matrix. Not me; I liked Speed Racer just fine, and Cloud Atlas even better. Even though both were box office duds.
Not so with Jupiter Ascending; it was yet another B.O. bomb and its dudditude (or bombosity) was richly deserved.
Jupiter is a young lady (Mila Kunis), a Russian immigrant living in Chicago, whose barely-above-poverty-level life is consumed by her drudge-filled job in the family cleaning business. But (suddenly) she turns out to be the genetic duplicate of the deceased matriarch of a rich family, part of a spacefaring civilization that routinely "harvests" the inhabitants of planets by turning them into attractive blue powder, used in manufacturing longevity drugs for the elite.
Now, there's a lot of mumbo-jumbo here. Jupiter's genes make her, according to the rules, the monarchical owner of Earth. This poses a threat to the existing members of her genetic family, and each makes a play to either do away with her, or to co-opt her (and then do away with her). Fortunately a studly young bounty hunter/mercenary, "Caine Wise" (Channing Tatum) gets on her side.
A number of things irritated me. And I'm going to tell you about them, sorry:
The movie seemed to be aimed
squarely at the fantasies of a 14-year-old girl: plucked out of her
menial existence and suddenly everyone's calling her "Majesty", and she
gets to wear nicer clothes and make goo-goo eyes at Channing Tatum.
Over and over again,
Caine (literally) swoops in to save Jupiter's bacon at the last possible
second. (When I say "literally": he has special boots that allow him to
swoop.) I lost track of how many times this happened.
Gratuitous swipes at capitalism throughout. The baddest of the bad guys
has a soliloquy extolling the system that just happens to be built on
the sudden termination of billions of innocent lives: the human population
is a "resource
waiting to be converted into capital", whose purpose is "to create
profit." The Wachowski's need to read some stuff from my other
But most of all:
The movie managed to put me to sleep both times I tried to watch it in the
evening. I finally managed to see the whole thing by waking up early and
watching at 2x normal speed.
I certainly believe the filmmakers dropped a bundle on special effects;
unfortunately, they also managed to make spectacular palacial sets and
epic battle scenes utterly boring. At least for me. YMMV, as they say.
Watching this movie made me wish they made a movie based on Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy instead. Sort of a similar plot. Go ahead and make Thorby a girl if needed. It would be difficult to do worse than this.