Review - Jupiter Ascending

Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending
Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending

A cacophony of noise and special effects stand out in this sci-fi hit from the directors of The Matrix.

Jupiter Jones, played by Mila Kunis, is a cleaner who discovers that she is the descended from alien royalty and holds the key to the future of the Earth.

My first reaction to this film when I came out of the cinema was this was Flash Gordon with none of the fun.

I’ll try and find some positive things to say about this film. As you would expect from The Wachowski siblings, the special effects are absolutely stunning. There is probably nothing as innovative as bullet-time but they do create one gorgeous spectacle.

The production of the film is incredibly opulent. From run down Chicago to the vast vistas of the alien worlds, it looks superb. And a quick word for the alien creatures who are all stunning to look, at particularly the unnamed crocodile creatures who would have been the lead villains in any other film.

However that’s where the positive things are at an end. It sounds horrible to say but many of the actors in this film can do better. And while I appreciate that some of them have got to live, it is difficult to imagine any of them will be proud enough to use it on their showreel.

Mila Kunis is likeable enough as the brilliantly named Jupiter Jones but does not do enough to drive the plot considering she was the lead. Channing Tatum, who spends half the film with his top off, probably because his character would be dull if he didn’t.

The biggest disappointment is Eddie Redmayne, a BAFTA winner for The Theory of Everything, who plays the film’s villain. He is incredibly cliched with a whispering voice but with little threat to it. Indeed, he might rival Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns as the least interesting villain.

The story is mess with several sequences making very little sense. There are almost too many characters in the movie, all with their own agenda, but none of which is particularly interesting.

The dialogue contains most of the humour but I suspect it wasn’t meant to be. Sean Bean having to deliver the line “Bees are genetically programmed to recognise royalty.” is probably struggle but he somehow retains his dignity. While Mila Kunis saying “I love dogs” during her inevitable romance with Tatum’s character had most of the audience guffawing with laughter.

Jupiter Ascending is a not a great film and will be what it is. But I’ll be shocked if it has any longevity beyond this year.

Review by Steve Mills

Jupiter Ascending can be seen at Cineworld in Rugby.