We Review: Jupiter Ascending – Almost as cool as Guardians of the Galaxy… Almost! – MR

Jupiter Ascending

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Jupiter Ascending
'Jupiter Ascending' Theatrical Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
  • The Wachowskis
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography John Toll
Edited by Alexander Berner
Production
company
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
127 minutes[2]
Country
  • United States
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $176 million[3]
Box office $6.4 million[3]

Jupiter Ascending is a 2015 space opera[4] film written, produced, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. StarringChanning Tatum and Mila Kunis, the film is centered on Jupiter Jones (Kunis), a down-on-her-luck maid, and Caine Wise (Tatum), an interplanetary warrior who informs Jones that her destiny extends beyond Earth. Supporting cast memberDouglas Booth has described the film’s universe as a cross between The Matrix and Star Wars[5][6][7] while Kunis named its underlying themes as indulgence[8] and consumption.[9][10][11]

The film was co-produced by Grant Hill, who acted as executive producer on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and as producer on V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, and Cloud Atlas, making Jupiter Ascending his seventh collaboration with the Wachowskis. Several more longstanding Wachowski collaborators since the creation of The Matrix films have contributed to the picture,[12] including production designer Hugh Bateup, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, visual effects designer John Gaeta, supervising sound editor Dane Davis and costume designerKym Barrett. Other notable past collaborators include Speed Racer‘s composer Michael Giacchino, Cloud Atlasdirector of photography John Toll along with its editor Alexander Berner and hair and make-up designer Jeremy Woodhead, who worked on both.

The film has received mixed to negative reviews, with critics praising the visuals, world-building, and originality, but criticizing the story and screenplay.

Plot

Unknown to Earth’s residents, life on Earth and countless other planets has been seeded[13] by families of alienroyalty[14] for the purpose of harvesting the evolved living creatures once they reach a “Darwinian state of perfection” to produce a type of youth serum that allows them to live forever.[15] When the matriarch of the House of Abrasax, the most powerful of the alien dynasties, dies[9] her children Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique (Tuppence Middleton), and Titus (Douglas Booth) are at war over the inheritance. Eventually a new heir comes to their attention: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), an unsuspecting, Earth-living, unlucky cleaner of other people’s homes.[16] Jupiter encounters Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered interplanetary warrior, who came to Earth to reveal that her genetic signature makes Jones royalty and heir to Earth. Meanwhile, he has to protect her from Balem, who put a bounty on her head and would rather harvest Earth than lose it to Jones.[17]

Cast

  • Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, an unsuspecting, unlucky, Earth-born janitor whose genetic structure marks her as royalty and the heir to Earth. Kunis describes her character as unhappy with her job and life, but also lazy and with no aspirations to do anything about it, until Caine finds her.[9]
  • Channing Tatum as Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter. Caine is a defective genetic splice, half-albino and with both wolf and human DNA.[18]He has a tremendously powerful sense of smell that allows him to track a gene through the Universe.[19] Tatum had to wear a mouthpiece to change the shape of his lower jaw, which prevented him from closing his mouth and gave him trouble when he had to talk.
  • Sean Bean as Stinger Apini, a “Han Solo-type character”.[20] Stinger is spliced with bee DNA, which gives him some of their characteristics: wings, speed, special vision and a sense of loyalty. Stinger was in the military with Caine but when Caine got into trouble and Stinger stood up for him, his wings were removed and he was exiled to Earth.[9] He lives a normal life on Earth along with his daughter, who he describes as the only good thing he’s done in life, until she falls ill and in need of a special nectar.[11]
  • Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax, alien royalty whose family engages in the planetary business, trading in youth serum.[9] He is the eldest of the three Abrasax siblings and serves as the main antagonist of the film because he wants Earth for himself.
  • Douglas Booth as Titus Abrasax, Balem’s brother. Booth has described his character as “a bit of a playboy”, mentioning his spaceship, as described in the script, as a cross between a Gothic cathedral and the Playboy Mansion.[9]
  • Tuppence Middleton as Kalique Abrasax, Balem’s sister. She approaches Jupiter and befriends her, but like her brothers she has ulterior motives.[9]
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Famulus, a half-human, half-deer genetic splice.[21][22]
  • Terry Gilliam as Seal and Signet Minister[23] in a scene that is an homage to Gilliam’s Brazil.[24]
  • David Ajala as Ibis, the leader of the cyber hunters pursuing Jupiter and Caine.[25]
  • James D’Arcy as Maximilian Jones, Jupiter’s father.
  • Kick Gurry as Vladie, Jupiter’s cousin.
  • Bae Doona as Razo
  • Charlotte Beaumont as Kiza, Stinger’s daughter.[26]
  • Tim Pigott-Smith as Malidictes
  • Edward Hogg as Chicanery Night[27]
  • Nikki Amuka-Bird as Diomika Tsing
  • Vanessa Kirby as Katharine[28]
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy as Aleksa, Jupiter’s mother.
  • Christina Cole as Gemma Chatterjee

Our Thoughts:

The technical and special effect aspects of this movie are flat out amazing. The creatures, spaceships, and technology look and seem real, ALL of them. The story is the typical “un-expecting youth finds out they rule the world” type of thing. Then it becomes the “race against time to stop a wedding and save Earth from being harvested” plot line. When Channing Tatum, who plays, Caine Wise, was trying against all odds to stop his new found love’s unwanted wedding, I was reminded of Ming marrying Dale in the old Flash Gordon. I half expected Queen music to start playing, and if it would have this one would have been better.  4 stars and recommended. It was almost as cool as Guardians of the Galaxy… Almost! – MR

Find Jupiter Ascending and see a new trailer here.

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About twittersfantasyebookguide

We watch and review fantasy and Sci-Fi movies. (Both new releases and classics via - Amazon Streaming) We also tweet about fantasy genre news from across the blogosphere. Follow us @WizardWyrm on twitter. View all posts by twittersfantasyebookguide

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