"An excessive, convoluted narrative and running time adds to the overall mess that is their latest feature"
From bees detecting royalty to names that sound like they have been created by chucking scrabble tiles around, Jupiter Ascending is an incessantly baggy space melodrama that crumbles under the weight of its own ambition. Mila Kunis stars as said Jupiter, an unconvincing domestic cleaner in her Russian immigrant family business, who is seemingly destined for little more than keeping rich Chicagoans lavatories in pristine condition. When genetically engineered interplanetary warrior Caine ‘allergic to shirts' Wise (Channing Tatum) rescues Jupiter from a near fatal attempt on her life, she is unwittingly propelled into an intergalactic fairy tale and her humdrum life is no more.
Whisked away (on anti-gravity rocket boots) Jupiter learns she is the genetic reincarnation of a murdered alien matriarch and subsequently becomes the target of the Borgia-like scheming Abrasax siblings. Prince Baelm (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) and Titus (Douglas Booth) who will do anything to hold onto their universal power, so they can continue to ruthlessly harvest planets for their exceedingly coveted immortality tonic. Directed by the Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas, Speed Racer) who have not struck cinematic gold since the mind bending Matrix, Jupiter Ascending is naff sci-fi hokum with dialogue so cringe worthy your ears will burn from embarrassment.
An excessively convoluted narrative and running time adds to the overall rambling mess that is Jupiter Ascending, with socio-politics that are complex enough to leave your brain fully scrambled. Being a mishmash of everything from poor man’s Star Wars to a knowing Brazil reference (with a cameo from Terry Gilliam) at a frustratingly intricate interstellar DMV, Jupiter Ascending is a string of clumsily rehashed of ideas that ultimately fail. Given the $175 million budget and the film being reluctantly setback for six months, the digital effects are sorely underwhelming with an overload of CGI that is at times off putting.
The only saving grace is Eddie Redmayne’s wonderfully hammy thespian performance as Baelm, the callous heir to the House of Abrasax, whose lips never quite touch and can go from a muted whisper to full on rage to in three seconds flat. If Snape (from the Harry Potter series) had an intergalactic brother this would sure be his counterpart. Once again showcasing that we Brits know truly how portray an outrageously camp villain and if seen in immersive IMAX Redmayne’s sculpted cheekbones will nearly have your eye out.
Kunis is a Cinderella-esque figure who is constantly in need of being recused by Caine, which leaves Jupiter with little to do except for asking questions, resulting in a severely underdeveloped and substandard character in this Katniss Everdeen era. Unfortunately not even all the A-listers, floral dresses and bees in the world could save the Wachowskis from this imminent flop with its myriad of inadequacies.