Jupiter Ascending

 Jupiter Ascending, the odd sci-fi film starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.  From the previews it gives us a look at a lot of visually appealing things and action, but the story is not quite what I expected it to be. 

The story tells of a man and woman who meet while he is observing the stars through his telescope. Always interested in space and stars, when his wife is pregnant he comes to calling the baby Jupiter while it is still in the womb. His wife insists that is no name for a baby, but after a tragic burglary leaves the woman widowed and pregnant, Jupiter Jones is born. 

Flash forward and Jupiter, played by Mila Kunis, is cleaning toilets with her mother and aunties. The family work together cleaning the houses of their wealthy neighbours.  After an alien encounter she captures on her phone, Jupiter learns that there is much more to our world and the universe beyond.  When the aliens try to kill her, a mysterious soldier named Caine Wise, played by Channing Tatum,  who is part wolf, part man rescues her. Unable to leave earth to escape, they seek refuge from Wise’s old comrade who seems less than thrilled so see Wise. A series of startling revelations and family drama lead to an intergalactic war and a business larger than anyone could ever have imagined. 

The visuals and the concept had a pretty good pull but let’s face it, half of us went for Mila, the other for Channing. The idea that Tatum’s character was an alien mix of part wolf definitely added to the sex factor. Oddly enough, Tatum was not at the height of his physical prowess which led to many shirtless scenes zoomed out, and only zoomed in from the neck up.  Not that I was paying attention. 

The film has a definite Star Wars vibe and even says to be crossed with Star Wars and The Matrix. I would argue it had more of a Star Wars visuals with a mix of the Men In Black comedy and a touch of Fifth Element campiness. There are a lot of interesting factors that make this an entertaining film, such as the adventure, action and visuals but at times it tried a bit too hard. I feel if they were able to cut back on a few scenes here and there it would shorten the film to a more comfortable length and created a better impact. Instead, some scenes added to the film dragging a bit and despite any action, it made you wonder where things fit. It’s a lot to take in learning that earth is just a small player in a game of heavy hitters, but we raced by quite a collection of them.  Understandably they were in a predicament that it wasn’t long enough to be multiple films, but an odd length and plot for one film. 

There are a handful of pros to the movie, but they are evenly weighed with the cons.  Jupiter Ascending is a sci-fi adventure but let’s face it, it’s tailered for us who enjoy beautiful visuals, extravagant couture gowns, sexy alien men and strong female leads.

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