Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending ★★★½

Scavenger Hunt 4! (1/30): "A Film featuring reincarnation!": letterboxd.com/milo123/list/milo123s-scavenger-hunt-4-scavenger-world/

I've only seen one Wachowski movie that isn't The Matrix, and that was Speed Racer, which I hated, so since then I've avoided anything more by them. However, space opera is one of my favourite genres and I was hoping for something just as fun as Guardians of the Galaxy when I gave Jupiter Ascending, their latest movie, a go, and although I found plenty of problems and to be fair it's nowhere near as good as Marvel's blockbuster, it was a fun take on Space Opera with some gorgeous cinematography and CGI that really makes this movie look absolutely stunning.

The plot is fairly clichéd, with a young Earth woman named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) being saved from the bad guys by Channing Tatum's Caine Wise, a genetically engineered soldier. Jupiter soon learns that Earth is not alone in the Universe, and she may be the key to a power struggle within a powerful dynasty with Earth as the prize. It's got loads of potential and there are some fun action sequences, and Sean Bean is always watchable, but for me, there were plenty of problems with Jupiter Ascending that prevented it from getting anything higher than a 3.5.

Firstly, there's a lot of stuff here and it often feels like Jupiter Ascending is too crowded. There's too much world building and too much establishment/exposition, but not enough stuff actually happening. We don't get to know much about the characters, but we learn a lot about the plot. World building isn't important if we don't care about the characters involved, and the Wachowski's never really do make us do that. For instance, the only character's name who's really memorable is Jupiter Jones, and the rest are forgettable. Sean Bean plays as himself, and Eddie Redmayne has a scenery-chewing performance that was one of the most weird things about this film.

Still, there was just enough there to make Jupiter Ascending watchable, even if there are far better things to see. It's almost a shame that my run of five 5star films in a row was broken, but then it was bound to happen eventually. But still, there's worse films that I could have watched, I guess.

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