Review by T. Austin
Critics and audiences alike have not been kind to the new Sci-fi fantasy, Jupiter Ascending starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. But after seeing it last weekend I’m certain that critics fail to understand that some films are just meant for pure entertainment and at a time like this some audiences just want to escape reality. If escaping into a crazy fantasy is what you’re looking for, the film thoroughly delivers. Here are 3 reasons you MUST see it now:
- The plot is pure popcorn entertainment
Explaining the plot might require quite a lot of time and for the record Jupiter Ascending is in no way a high-brow, intellectual thriller, but what you actually get is an engrossing action romp made purely for popcorn entertainment. Mila Kunis is Jupiter, who goes from cleaning toilets to being drawn into an intergalactic conflict between members of the House of Abrasax, a Royal family who just happens to share ownership of the universe. Yes, it’s that complicated and a tad silly but the execution is highly entertaining. Jupiter is sought after by the royal siblings, including recent Oscar winner Eddy Redmayne as the devilish older sibling, Balem, who wants to murder Jupiter since she is the reincarnated version of his mother, who apparently had rights to owning the Earth. Yes it’s ridiculous, but if you’re tired of all the headlines screaming beheadings, terrorism and other assorted bad news that is so in your face lately, Jupiter is the perfect film for escapism. It’s the kind of Star Wars, Star Trek and Terminator mash-up that you dreamt of as a teen. Believe me, as impossible and overblown as the story seems, the visual effects, chemistry between the leads and amazing soundtrack make it well worth the ticket price.
- Kunis and Tatum turn up the chemistry
The main draw is of course the stars of the film and from the first frame Kunis exudes amazing comic timing as the klutzy, yet believable Jupiter. When she is rescued by Channing Tatum’s Caine Wise, an intergalactic soldier, we experience what seems to be genuine chemistry between the two charismatic actors and it’s indeed enjoyable to watch. While there are no real memorable one-liners, the scenes with Kunis and Tatum stand out as silly but charming. Whether he is rescuing her from what looks like body-builder versions of the Sand People from Star Wars or soaring above skyscrapers on ‘gravity boots’, the romance between the two characters is one of the more believable aspects of an otherwise overblown story.
- Phenomenal visual effects create an equally fantastic world
It’s obvious that the directors, the Wachowski Brothers, borrowed quite a lot from probably every Sci-fi fantasy you can think of including large parts of Star Wars and huge chunks of Star Trek, but that’s what makes the world they created so enjoyable to get absorbed into; whether it’s the insect-like giant space ships or the Lord of the Rings inspired vistas, everything looks and sounds like the over-the-top space opera you wished they still showed on Saturday afternoons. I particularly liked that some of the spacecraft had giant gold statues and colourful murals that evoke an art-deco inspired alien world. The Wachowskis, despite using bits from Sci-fi films that we already know, have created their own unique world that hints at the excess of mankind and over-consumption. It is indeed a fascinating place to spend 2 hours. The music score by Michael Giacchino is as over the top as the storyline with huge brass statements in the vein of John Williams’ Star Wars scores.
I recommended Jupiter to anyone looking for a truly thrilling adventure that requires no brain busting plot analysis. It’s just plain in your face, loud and colourful entertainment that has sadly been missing from our local multiplexes for years. With so many serious, true to life films out now, Jupiter Ascending is the ideal cinema experience for anyone wanting to get away from reality.