By Brianne Simone II Contributing Writer
Have you ever wanted to see Cinderella in space? How about Channing Tatum with pointy prosthetic ears? Even if you’ve never wanted to see either of those things, this movie is still worth giving a chance. Coming from the Wachowski siblings is a film about Jupiter Jones. She wakes up at 4:45 am every morning so she can clean toilets and moan about how much she hates her dull, dreary life. Lucky for her, she’s actually very special. Unlucky for her, three royal siblings want her dead. And the only one who can save her is Channing Tatum.
Mila Kunis’s Jupiter is thrust into several beautiful dresses during the course of the film. Elaborate and gorgeous and fitting of royalty. However, each faction in the movie (there are four) gets their own wardrobe and each are fitting for the part each plays. For instance, the outfit the interplanetary police force and Cain, played by Channing Tatum, is sleek and functional. The royal siblings, on the other hand, all wear ornate and intricate pieces to symbolize their greed and their extravagance. Part of why Jupiter keeps changing out of the clothes the siblings put on her is because she is rejecting the arrogance and elitism they represent. This also means the three separate siblings weren’t necessary. Their message differs in small ways, but not enough to justify their presence. The movie starts to drag at around the ninety-minute mark, then finishes with a bang at a total of one hundred twenty minutes. Each sibling probably held the screen for around thirty minutes, so just dropping one would have improved the flow of the narrative greatly.
Perhaps the part I liked best about Jupiter Ascending was the futuristic technology in the movie. Channing Tatum’s character flies around on anti-gravity boots and turns solid objects intangible long enough for him to pass through them without harm. It’s really very fun to watch him skate on the air, skidding along buildings and avoiding plasma blasts like it’s as easy as pulling a comb through his gray buzzcut. Cain is a splice. That means he’s a human genetically spliced with a wolf, kept in solitude so he would become ruthless and cold, the perfect soldier. He was thrown out of the Skyjackers (it’s like paratroopers with wings) after he instinctually attacked an Entitled. That’s what the movie calls rich people. This resulted in both him and Sean Bean’s character having their wings cut and being thrown out of the legionnaires. And that’s fascinating! An entire movie about Channing Tatum and Sean Bean fighting together in space would have been amazing! Instead, there’s an odd and awkward romance subplot between Cain and Jupiter that just doesn’t have any chemistry. When they were speaking to each other as friends and equals, the acting and dialogue flows seamlessly. Once they’re supposed to be falling in love, it starts huffing and puffing like a broken down car.
Luckily, most of the movie is devoted to beautiful scenery and action. The action usually kept at a maximum of four characters, so it never feels too complex or hard to follow. Mila Kunis’s character is thrown around like a pinball for most of the movie, but she grows into herself at the end and gets an action sequence where she has to save her life all on her own. Well, until Channing Tatum saves her. She does fight, though!
Unlike Channing Tatum, who looked ridiculous in the trailer and yet managed to work, Eddie Redmayne looks as ridiculous in the film as he did in the trailer. Maybe more so. Most of the time, he speaks through chapped lips in a hushed whisper, and then he’ll start shouting mid-sentence. It’s probably supposed to make him seem unstable in a way that varied from the subtle instability of his two siblings. There is one scene in the movie where he and his siblings actually speak to each other. And that’s it. They never speak again. As I said before, each sibling gets around thirty minutes of screen time, yet none of them feel important or even particularly threatening.
All in all, would I have rather seen Channing Tatum and Sean Bean working together as legionnaires? Yes. Was this bad? No. It was fun and there were times I was really into it. There were also times where I sat back and rolled my eyes. Jupiter Ascending is equal parts awesome and ridiculous, with cool actions scenes and scenery that makes the extra cost of 3D sting a little less. If you’re going to the movies this weekend and can’t think of what to watch, Jupiter Ascending isn’t the worst choice you could make.
Senior Brianne Simone is a contributing writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.