Published on February 6th, 2015 | by Sasha Glenn0
In the year 2015, what makes a good movie? Is it a high level of visual stimulation, achieved through advancing graphic capabilities? Or do good movies still require a whole lot more than technology alone can provide?
The answer to all this becomes clear in watching the Wachowskis’ “Jupiter Ascending.” An entertaining and fast-paced movie which delivers plenty of aesthetic beauty, but little in the line of a sound logical plot. Sound logic is, of course, not always required in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. However, the logical failings and surface character relationships in “Jupiter Ascending” make the movie subpar to say the least.
The plot follows Jupiter (Mila Kunis), an earthling who becomes entangled in a galactic battle over who should own planet Earth. The universe is inhabited by a superior alien race of humans, the wealthy members of which own many planets as if they were colonies. A particular elite family struggles over who will inherent Earth after their mother has died.
The technologically advanced race of humans has discovered a key for immortality lies in genetic material. As a result, they routinely harvest inferior humans in order to extract what appears to be the fountain of youth. Thus, Earth is prime for the taking.
As the plot progresses, the film becomes riddled with logical disconnects and cheesy moments. When Jupiter is taken into space, she doesn’t really seem shocked like any regular person would be. Instead, she seems to quickly adapt to the idea of alien life and space travel in an unrealistic manner. This could be a downfall of Kunis’ acting skills. However, the rest of the film follows suit, making it more likely to be the poorly written plotline at fault.
The romance which develops between Jupiter and Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a part-wolf/part-man warrior, is hardly believable. It seems like a long shot that love would be on anyone’s mind the day after they are taken from Earth into what is basically another reality, especially one in which they are running for their lives. Adding to that, the scene in which Jupiter professes her feelings to Caine is so hokey, it provides that special kind of awkwardness that makes an audience laugh for the wrong reasons.
Another quick and dirty example of one of the film’s many downfalls is a scene in which a spacecraft has barely escaped through what is basically a gate around a planet. Along with the ship, two floating people in space suits escape (I won’t say who). They did not make it into the ship, however, less than one minute later they and the ship have arrived at Earth’s orbit. Did they hold onto the ship the whole way? How did they all get there so fast when it takes an unthinkably long time to travel through space to distant planets? Laughable.
Yes, there are cool looking aliens and beautiful views of planets and space. Unfortunately, the grand quality in graphics just isn’t enough to save this movie.
I give “Jupiter Ascending” 2 out of 5 stars.