Helena Hamilton | Contributing Writer | Friday, 6 February 2015

Like Gravity Boots And Mila Kunis (And Fancy A Laugh?) Go And See Jupiter Ascending This Weekend

The Debrief: Channing Tatum plays a half-man half-dog bounty hunter. Have a little perch on that info for a minute…

What’s this then? Jupiter Ascending is the new sci-fi action film created by Andy and Lana Wachowski, who also wrote and directed The Matrix. Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a lonely, poor girl who spends her days cleaning the homes of Chicago’s rich elite. Her life changes forever when, while getting her eggs harvested to earn some cash, she’s attacked and about to be murdered by aliens until a bounty hunter shoots in on gravity boots and…

Wait, wait, wait – what? It’s as absurd as it sounds, but you have to be very open-minded and accepting of the facts thrown at you in this one. The first fact is alien royalty rules the universe and, unbeknownst to the Earth humans, the royals are harvesting them as a source of energy to create a sort of eternal youth and beauty serum.

OK, got you. Sort of. What else? Number two, until she was murdered, the head of the most powerful alien family had owned the Earth (aka the ‘House of Abbrasax’) and was in charge of the harvesting. Before she died, she left the Earth to any future reincarnation of herself in her will. This reincarnation is Jupiter. In the beginning of the film the previous ruler’s three children Balem, Kalique and Titus are racing to track Jupiter down, all with a plan to ensure the Earth becomes theirs.

Jeez! So who’s in it? Other than Kunis as the doe-eyed yet ultimately sassy Jupiter, there’s Channing Tatum playing Caine, the heroic bounty hunter who saves her life multiple times.

Does Channers do any dancing? No, but you can tell he really wanted to. In fact, the Channing purists out there might prefer to hold your cinema going off for a few months when Magic Mike XXL hits the screens.

Who else is in it? Eddie Redmayne plays the eldest, most evil alien sibling Balem and Douglas Booth is his younger brother Titus. There’s also their sister, played by Tuppence Middleton (no relation to any other Middletons you might know).

Any stand-out moments? The scenes with Balem stick in your mind, mainly because he’s incredibly strange and well, you know, it’s Eddie Redmayne and he’s talking like Darth Vadar. He also wears a LOT of black leather – leather trousers, leather capes. The best was the turtleneck. Eddie Redmayne’s freckles are still banging in 3D, in case you were wondering.

So the 3D is good? They make the most of it, which is great because a lot of 3D films feel like a waste of money. The first big action scene, for instance, takes place in Chicago and consists of like, a gazillion flying aliens swooping between skyscrapers and under bridges while firing guns, which looks super impressive.

What’re other people saying? It’s not amazing news for the Wachowskis, with lots of reviews coming in at 2-3 stars. The Independent commented, ‘The opening few minutes are masterly… The script, though, is a dud. The glory days of The Matrix seem light years away as the Wachowskis’ work grows ever more juvenile’ and The Hollywood Reporter wrote, ‘Tatum is capable of much more than this sort of he-man role, while Redmayne can hope that balloting for a certain prestigious award is finished before voters get a load of his melodramatics on display here.’ 

What’re we saying? The script is super cheesy, but if you’re partial to a predictable lovey-dovey ending (and fair enough, if you are) there’s a chance you’ll get some real enjoyment out of this one. Other than that, there’s a lot of random information thrown at the audience, much of which is never fully explained within the shallow context provided (Jupiter being duped by her money-grabbing cousin to get her eggs harvested, for example).

Essentially, if you love a bit of 3D action, or really fancy Channing Tatum, then go see it. Otherwise, save your money guys. 3D tickets don’t come cheap.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

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The Magic Mike XXL Trailer Is Here, We Use It As An Excuse To Recall Channing Tatum’s Overly-Sexualised Version Of The Worm

Your Need-To-Know From Sundance Film Festival

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Tags: Film, Mila Kunis