Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending ★★½

Nobody crashes and burns like the Wachowskis. They're pretentious and self-indulgent, and the fact that this even exists can only be put down to gamblers hoping to invest in another Matrix franchise. And for all that, one can thank the stars. This is a foolish mess, but its combination of pulp and cod philosophy is unique, and the siblings have heart in their ideas. In their own ultra geeky way they want to entertain and improve the audience. Jupiter Jones, for example, is a positive, non-violent, selfless female hero. And the satire on consumerism, while it's been put forward in science fiction many times before (not the least in Soylent Green) still hits home in this kind of blockbuster. It's more fairy tale than sci-fi, its clearest antecedents being The Wizard of Oz and Mike Hodges' Flash Gordon, and to get through it one has to embrace the silly. You can be horrified by Eddie Redmayne's performance or just laugh at it for the comic gold I think it's trying to mine. And who can't appreciate the Brazil homage even if it's apropos of nothing else in the film. So, I'm kind of rooting for it because, at the very least, I want to see what the Walchowskis throw our way next.

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