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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Jupiter Ascending

The biggest selling point for Jupiter Ascending would have been the fact that The Wachowskis (no longer the Wachowski Brothers) are back after a hiatus of nearly 3 years.  The siblings have never given us a disappointing movie to date.  Complicated yes.  Disappointing never.

But all good runs must come to an end.  Midway through Jupiter Ascending, I was actually put in a spot because the rest of the world seemed to be panning this movie and I was perfectly happy with what I had seen till then.  But it was all downhill after that.  Almost everything about the second half of Jupiter Ascending was not Wachowski.

The concept of this latest Science Fiction flick set somewhere in the distant future in the city of Chicago is quite impressive.  The Wachowskis begin by establishing that us humans are not the only intelligent species in the world.  In fact the world that we live in today is a spin off from an ancient and distant planet (I cannot remember the name at all).

The universe is controlled by the Abrasax family who are currently down to three – the elder brother Balem (Eddie Redmayne), the younger brother Titus (Douglas Booth) and the only sister Kalique (Tuppence Middleton).  Each of them are over 10 millenia in age and own the universe.  The part defined as Earth is owned by Balem.

However, as luck would have it, the first right to Earth is actually with an unknown and insignificant earthling called Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis).  Jupiter happens to have an identical genetic signature to the Matriarch of the Abrasax family and therefore automatically has claim to Earth.  Balem has other ideas but standing in his way is an inter-galactic warrior called Caine Wise (Channig Tatum).

Jupiter Ascending is a concept that has hitherto not been explored.  Parts of it are old but the concept of farming human beings to extract the most valuable component of all – TIME – is fascinating.  The build up through the first half is superb with some great Wachowski style action of course the extremely Wachowski style complex story.

The make up and SFX are simply world class but the complicated story will not go down too well with most people.  Let me tell you that it is much less complicated that Cloud Atlas which I thought was one of the most amazing concepts in cinema history.  Having said that, the second half is disappointing.

The story moves from a solid base into a mushy love story between Caine and Jupiter.  The Wachowskis fail to hold the audience thanks to some very average narration.  The below par performances don’t help the cause either.  Mila Kunis and Tatum look woefully out of place. But for Redmayne, the entire category of acting would not have met the benchmark.  6 on 10 and possibly a one-time watch.

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