‘Jupiter Ascending’ could’ve become a modern classic sci-fi film.

Jupiter Ascending centres on a Jupiter Jones, a down down-on-her-luck cleaning woman, and Caine Wise (Tatum), an interplanetary warrior who informs Jones that her destiny extends beyond Earth. 

This film had so much going for it. An interesting story. Interplanetary travel. Sean Bean not dying. More to the point, though, Jupiter Ascending does paint a fascinating universe. Earth and thousands of other worlds like it are owned by different families that act like corporations who seed these worlds. Once these worlds become overpopulated, their people are harvested to create a youth serum that keeps whose run and live in this corporation young for thousands of years.

The film focuses on the Abraxis family, who are one of the most powerful “corporations” and each of its three heirs vie for the control of a place we know as Earth. Standing in their way is our “heroine” Jupiter Jones. The claimant to the throne of the family.

It does sound like a lot to take in and it is. But it is easily the best part of the film. Directors Lana and Andy Wachowski have talent for creating worlds like inJupiter Ascending (see their Matrix Trilogy and Cloud Atlas) but here, they have created a massive universe in the likes we haven’t seen. They’re very ambitious to have created a film like this and maybe it would have been more suited to something of a television show on HBO or a network of the like. There is so much more of the world that we could explore within the likes of a television show instead of being somewhat constrained to a two or so hour film.

As a result of it’s constraints, the film itself was poorly constructed and I found the most interesting part was picking out how badly the special effects were. It’s a shame because I’ve had friends tell me that the best part of the film, despite all that it was lacking, was Eddie Redmayne’s performance but even that was disappointing. A few people even left the cinema at various points throughout the duration of the film.

Jupiter Ascending was way too long for its own good, also. And I’m fine with lengthy films just as long as they give me something interesting to keep me watching. The script remained average, and was content to remain that way, which frustrated me because it could’ve been so much more.

Seeing some of the costumes was a notable point as some of the dresses Mila Kunis was seen wearing were quite beautiful, but it ended there. The overall film was a mixed bag of what you were ultimately going to get.

After finally seeing the film, I can completely understand why it had to be pushed back to the post-awards season slump of February. The film was meant to be released in the summer of 2014 and to compete with the many other blockbusters of last year but it was delayed because of troubles in post-production and competition around the time of its original release (eg.Guardians of the Galaxy; X-Men: Days of Future Past). It’s clear that it would’ve had trouble against its rivals. But then again, it didn’t do so well without the competition either.

Had the film been more focussed on it’s characters and less on the exposition on the universe, then Jupiter Ascending could’ve become a modern sci-fi class just like The Matrix has.

FIlm-O-Meter: 6/10.


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