By Dr. Craig D. Reid
What do you get when you cross The Matrix (1999) with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), mix in a villain that pathetically and effeminately tries to act like Gary Oldman’s Zorg character from The Fifth Element (1997), a hero that’s part Lycan and Ryan Reynolds from Green Lantern (2011) and a universe that tries to explain crop circles and alien abductions via some crazy, overly contrived genetic science? Good guess…Jupiter Ascending, the latest sci-fi mind fender bender vehicle from Lana and Andy Wachowski.
What planet do you think might be involved in this caper that is going to decide the ultimate fate of mankind, animal kind and mother nature on Earth? Second good guess…Jupiter, who just also happens to be the name of the pseudo-earthling being the central spot of the film…not unlike her planet namesake also having a central spot.
Jupiter (Mila Kunis), an earth bound toilet bowl cleaner, becomes a spot of reign…not to be confused with a Spot of rain, comparable to a dog doing its duty. Oh, that brings in the humanoid DNAed wolf dude, super soldier Cain, (the bored looking Channing Tatum), who not only got his literal wings clipped for bad behavior but who also has a crush on Jupiter, the planted planet protagonist that Cain will crush anyone trying to hurt her as she claims her love for him by saying, “I love dogs.”
Crikey, that was a run on sentence that also exemplifies this run on film…part silly, part eye candy (thus not safe for diabetics) and a whole lot of laser blasts and galaxy destruction going on…goodness gracious great balls of spaceship and planet fire.
Now you might think that with all of this mumbo jumbo, convoluted trickery presented before you in a hodge-podge of pun and humor means this film sucks…wrong guess. It’s far from being a mosquito, leech or the last straw…weight for it…with all the kiloing going on and high intensity dram-a, it’s a pound of pleasure and a ton of fun.
However, the signal that is quickly coming in loud and clear is that Jupiter Ascending is truly just another crazy galaxy adventure. Here’s the danger. With all the planetary and super hero, sci-fi/fantasy films we’re being hit with that feature expensive computer enhanced CGI driven, wowee zowee visuals and special effects, we may quickly be on the verge of a drop in interest is such cinematic spectacles.
The next Star Wars film might either be the savior of the genre or the final nail in the coffin of seen it a million times boredom.
So what’s the fat on Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system…to say skinny is politically correct and I’m not into Stalin’s philosophy like most Americans (now that’s scary). Back to the plot. Jupiter, who’s actually skinny, is of Russian heritage and a country less born lass living in Chicago that through the finagle bagel, lock, stock and cream cheese cracker barrel of ignorance happens to be the queen of a galactic empire and the Jupiter central spot of a political power struggle between three royal pain in the ass siblings…and she’s their mum, mummy and mama.
But all is not lost, as quasi Shaolin Kwai Chang Cain plays enter the wolf and does the perfect Mighty Mouse…here I come to save the daaaaay…here I come to save the daaaaay…here I come to save the daaaay. Can you guess what’s happening?
So…to paraphrase a Christmas Song (geez, there again with the politically incorrect stuff)…these three kids of Orient not, trying to destroy Jupiter despot, planet and universe, galaxy and worm hole, traveling light years afar. O Cain the hunter, reptiles of plight, Jupiter with royal beauty bright, bee and wolf leading, still proceeding, save Jupiter and Earth from their bleeding.
It’s a film of sensory overload, full of muddy waters but that doesn’t mean you should sing the blues. Although the red herrings are a bit fishy, the climactic arias are rhythmically predictable and the acting is rather country western. Yet the grunge look, heavy metal warrior feel and rock and roll action creates balance for the movie’s song. Encore, Encore.
Have a Very Merry Jupiter Ascending.