Ya, so I am not going to suggest you go watch some softcore porn designed by people who think women are stupid this weekend. I am instead going to suggest another overmarketed movie that is much more fun. The very dismal reception of Jupiter Ascending looks like another overblown failure, but, like with their previous failure Cloud Atlas, there is lots to enjoy in this bonkers sci-fi action film.
A Wachowski Mash-up
It is fair to say that Jupiter Ascending is probably the Wachowskis’ least orginal film to date. Parts of the plots are taken from both The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Like Cloud Atlas, the plot involves reincarnation; our heroine Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is a genetic reincarnation of an intergalactic queen from a clan of hyper rich snobs, the Abrasax. From The Matrix comes a conspiratorial cover up of reality for the farming of human beings: the Abrasax use planets as farms for human beings whose material the elite use to keep them forever young. The most important plot line, however, is taken from Disney, this is a Cinderella story of a poor immigrant becoming queen of the universe. Jupiter mysteriously finds her ordinary life threatened by extraterrestrial assassins. She is saved by a dogboy bodyguard (Channing Tatum) who informs her of her true identity and takes her to one (Douglas Booth) of her former sons who wants to marry her (I know, gross right?). Her other son (the Nosferatu-ish Eddie Redmayne) wants to kill Jupiter to keep his inheritance in his hands and will stop at nothing to remain ruler of the valuable planet Earth.
Ok, so far, so bad. Then why is this so darn fun? Well, for one thing, it has the Wachowski trademark, overly imaginative action sequences that employ their iconic slowmo, but in a much prettier way than they have done it in the past. That it wears a lot of stupidity on its sleeve is also charming. Heroes are locked up but never disarmed, heroines travel from one room to the next and switch wardrobes (fabulously designed by Filipino Michael Cinco) and put on jurassic layers of makeup instantaneously, and the dialogue of the romance scenes are particularly woeful. (Apparently, Mila Kunis like dogs.)
Will Cinderella Ever Open a Can on Her Awful Family
Does it matter? Not one bit; the visual excesses and heavy action make for a fun ride, reminiscent of the sci-fi-action classic The Fifth Element. Jupiter Ascending is less joyous then the Besson film because Cinders remains Cinders and never becomes the kick-butt action hero we want. But maybe there is time for that in the sequels. Given that the Wachowski’s now think this may be the end of their big budget funding, it is highly unlikely, but you never know, the universe is a crazy, crazy place.
Jupiter Ascending continues its run in SM City Cebu this weekend February 13-15, 2015.