Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending ★★★

You’ve obviously got to hand it to the Wachowski Sisters; having earned the clout to do just about whatever they want with film, they’re steadfast in their commitment to realising their own passion projects that resist bowing down to popular ideas and overriding philosophies. Instead of concocting the type of tired superhero clone that might secure mass appeal, they develop colourful films in which Mila Kunis is the genetic heir to the Earth, half-dog Channing Tatum fights giant anthropomorphic iguanas, wherein spectacular battles take place inside Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and Sean Bean is half-honey bee. They make batshit would-be blockbusters like Jupiter Ascending, a film that commendably attempts to find the cinematic middle-ground between The Fifth Element and Cinderella with a brief but apt detour into the anti-bureaucracy of Brazil (hello, Terry!). They’re also among the very few big budget filmmakers whose inclusivity in their films feels genuine and hard-wired into the stories. Now, Jupiter Ascending is a bit of a mess, and I found myself caught up in its preposterously sincere world as much as I was aghast at it (well, primarily Eddie Redmayne’s gobsmackingly absurd performance as arch villain of the entire universe). But in an era of cautious line drives, it’s a film that unashamedly swings for the fences. Whoever keeps giving the Wachowskis money, keep doing it forever.

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