Movie Review: ‘Jupiter Ascending’ delivers descending joy

By Troy Ribeiro

Film: “Jupiter Ascending”; Cast: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton; Directors: Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski; Rating: *1/2

With directors Lana and Andy Wachowski helming this project, “Jupiter Ascending” is a perfect example of the phrase, “too many cooks spoil the broth”.

This ridiculously convoluted sci-fi tale with a love story thrown in and mounted on a magnificent scale of an action-epic will certainly be the cause of Warner Bros’ descent into oblivion.

With ‘plot’ holes galore, the narration follows Jupiter (Mila Kunis), daughter of an astrophysicist father and a mathematician mother, living in Russia.

“Born without a country and home” and after the death of her father, “in the house of Leo”, Jupiter and her mother live with an extended family that includes her mother’s sister and her family. The mother-daughter duo depends on her aunt’s family for subsistence. Jupiter leads a pathetic life. She is constantly shown cleaning toilets.

Then one fine day, a bunch of extraterrestrial creatures land up in her room and soon she is kidnapped. Apparently, she is some royal queen of the planet Earth.

jupiter_ascendingOn the other hand, on the planet Jupiter, royal siblings older brother Balem (Eddie Redmayne), sister Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) and younger brother Titus (Douglas Booth) are plotting to take control of planet Earth. They have been harvesting humans in order to create a regeneration serum. So they are all out to capture the queen of planet Earth.

Then there’s the half-wolf in shining armour, Caine (Channing Tatum), with a blonde goatee and elfin ears, who rescues Jupiter from her captors. He has recently lost his wings and wears shoes that enable him to lift off the ground and zoom across the sky. And during the rescue operation and in between inter-planetary transitions, romance brews between Caine and Jupiter.

Packed with characters with strange power dynamics and no co-relation or strong motivation, it is difficult to decipher what is happening on the screen. The setting too is absurdly off beat and the plot graph lacks logic.

The performances of the A-list star cast are perfunctory and disappointing, especially after watching award winning performances from Channing Tatum in “Foxcatcher” and Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”. Also, the chemistry between Mila Kunis and Tatum feels overtly forced.

The film is technically spectacular with brilliant sets and graphically designed spacecraft. It is visually beautiful. The graphics and computer generated effects mesh well with John Toll’s images. But the 3D effects don’t add any value to the viewing experience.

Overall, viewing “Jupiter Ascending” with its faulty script is a tedious affair. It leaves you gasping for oxygen.

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