Jupiter Ascending was the first movie of 2015 that I had high hopes for (despite a February release). The visuals looked stunning and filled with quality action. What I was presented with was far from what I hoped. A movie that got lost in its own epic ways.
What I didn’t like-
So much of the movie was dreadful. I’m amazed how bad this movie was. The writing in this movie was atrocious. I could have created a far better script. You start off easy enough with Mila Kunis as Jupiter. It could have easily gone along with this rags to riches sort of tale. Then some jerk out there doesn’t like the encroachment and decides the girl is a threat. Meanwhile another party with a stake in the matter wants her protected and sends Caine (Tatum) to protect her against this great evil. That alone could have been a good movie. However, this film decides to add about three other storylines to go with it and make it a convoluted mess.
Nobody in this film was memorable. Mile Kunis and Channing Tatum are decent. They play out their roles and are fine despite some really cheesy and forced love story and weak dialogue. Tatum and Kunis are one of the best parts about this movie and I won’t knock their performances. The villains were lousy and by that I mean predictable and boring. They weren’t interesting sociopaths, they were basically rich jerks. I’m rich jerk A with a demented philosophy (though I won’t really get to show off that in a creative manner)…….and I’m rich jerk B with a demented philosophy (again, with little to show for it.)
There were parts where I saw characters die and didn’t care. I said, “Well, he was replaceable. Didn’t even notice he was gone.” . A few characters had little to no effect on the movie. They could have easily been cut or wiped from the film and it would have made NO DIFFERENCE.
The storyline drifts into this web. You get entangled it and you are trapped much like I felt trapped watching this movie. I’ve rarely had the urge to walk out on a film, but this came pretty close a couple of times. (Yes, it was that bad.)
If you are going to have multiple antagonists, then be careful. It can go awry quickly so you need to make good use of these characters. This movie failed on all accounts to do that. One villain would have sufficed and probably would have helped the movie.
The action scenes are few and far apart. There is a proper time limit for a good action scene and this movie failed. The action gets going and then never stops. You may think that is a good thing, but it’s the same type of action again and again again. Almost like I was watching a Vine for seven second on endless loop for ten minutes.
There are long stints where nothing is happening. I’m convinced that half the audience of the theater had taken a nap. I could hear extended yawns of my fellow moviegoers.
There were issues on detail that annoyed me too. Like seeing downtown Chicago with tons of cars and vehicles, but nobody walking. Little things like that scattered about here and there where you could easily tell something was CGI and not great CGI like the bulk of the film.
I could go on and on about this movie’s flaws, but let’s stop here and say it was awful. I hope i never have to see that film ever again.
What I liked-
I didn’t hate Mila Kunis or Channing Tatum. I thought they did alright in their roles and though I didn’t care for their unrealistic and Twilight-esque romance. (If you think that counts as a spoiler…then you don’t watch movies.)
The visuals were sometimes really awesome. I wouldn’t call them groundbreaking, but they certainly weren’t bad.
The villains had their own demented philosophy and part of me liked that. It could connect to our world today and the views of the social elites. There was this story inside this movie that yearned for freedom. That is what pissed me off most about this movie. There was a story and concept here that could have been awesome and legendary, but instead, it got mangled into a piece of near unwatchable garbage.
Conclusion: It has overall stunning visuals, Kunis and Tatum work well enough, the concepts of the movie are interesting, but it tries too hard. Manages to be way over the top and yet boring at the same time.
What to watch instead – Pacific Rim (2013) since they use almost the same technology in this movie at times. Fifth Element(1995) a wild fantasy sci-fi epic that is actually awesome. It is funny with a cooler villain, great visuals and a good mix of action and story. It doesn’t get nearly as lost as this one.