Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) leads a humdrum life cleaning toilets, until one day she is targeted by the ruthless son of a powerful family that live on a planet awaiting a new heir. Along with a genetically engineered soldier called Caine (Channing Tatum), she sets out to stop his evil reign.
There’s a scene in which Jupiter is knocked out while wearing a hospital gown. When she comes to, Caine, a genetically engineered soldier she hardly knows (at this point) is in the room. When Jupiter notes she is back in her normal clothes, Caine admits that he changed them – while she was unconscious – and Jupiter is only mildly annoyed. This isn’t the only instance where this happens.
Will the Wachowskis ever make anything as good as The Matrix? I know it’s unfair to keep comparing, but it becomes more and more apparent with each middling-to-meh movie they make (Cloud Atlas, middling; Speed Racer, meh).
The Matrix had both mind-melting visuals AND a decent plot about survival and the strength of the human spirit – I think. Ascending is totally lacking in story. It’s like they took the basic idea of “Channing Tatum as a space dog on rollerskates” and tried to mould a plot around it, which would explain why the story jumps all over the place, with some parts of it abandoned altogether. Dialogue feels like filler between action sequences, and even they’re dodgy – the two leads look like blurry splotches against the sky during an spaceship-chase near the beginning.
There is zero chemistry between Channing and Mila, both solid actors trying to make the best of a bad script. Eddie Redmayne, that’s OSCAR NOMINATED Eddie Redmayne, is great in The Theory Of Everything but laughably hammy in this, like a Lidl-version of Voldemort. Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton are ineffectual and forgettable – in fact they’re literally forgotten by the film’s last third. They just disappear and their stories are never resolved. Sean Bean is clearly there for the pay check, talking about bees and how they’re ‘designed to recognise royalty’ (WHAT), but at least you can have fun guessing whether he’s going to bite the dust this time or not.
I could say go and see Jupiter Ascending if you’re after some easygoing Friday night fun at the cinema, but Shaun The Sheep The Movie is out, so see that instead.
ONE OUT OF FIVE