Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Film Review: Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
In many ways, this movie is similar to Kim Jong-un. Sure, he looks clumsy, fat and has a weird haircut that makes him look even fatter, so it’s really easy to make fun of him (unless you’re living in North Korea or working in Sony).

Jupiter Ascending, just like the chubby Kim, also practically begs to be ridiculed. It is also dumb and over the top in its decisions, probably thanks to a hugely inflated sense of self-worth which is most likely present in both entities.

But, unlike the petit dictator, Jupiter Ascending is not malicious. In the cinematic reference space, for me this means that it does not practice any form of false advertisement. It presents itself just like it truly is and does not use any tricks during its entire length that would show otherwise. In fact, it is a fairy tale, like the ones Lana and Andy Wachowski use to make when they forever changed the movie industry with the Matrix (the first movie, not the horrid series that followed, not counting Animatrix).

Here as well, the audience is introduced to an ordinary woman called Jupiter, who works as a cleaning lady in Chicago. But one day, she is swept away by a flying boots-wearing alien hunk that is there to save her from assassins and bounty hunters from outer space. This begins a huge adventure, sweeping the galaxy and covering many exotic and foreign places.

The Jupiter Ascending film is a space opera in its truest sense. Granted, it is not a masterfully crafted space opera like Guardians of the Galaxy, but it still provides beautiful images and action packed romance story. Sure, it’s characters are flat and the plot is silly, but who goes looking for deep-impacting drama in a film that features skating anti-gravity boots that make it “easy to go down, and hard to go up”? While many of its details could be improved, the main purpose of the film is crystal clear and readable from the first moment when Mila Kunis, who plays Jupiter, falls into the bulky arms of Channing Tatum.

Actually, I’m really glad to see that Lana and Andy Wachowski chose to continue to make films like this. While it might seem that they are going in the direction everyone else is taking by creating popcorn blockbusters (or at least trying to), the opposite is true. Films like Interstellar do not only bring with it absolutely no essence whatsoever (where they are exactly like Jupiter Ascending), but actually produce a strange, negative narrative dampening field, where a movie like that can be declared a masterpiece, although it would be more suitable as a Scientology instructional video on black holes and feeling good about dead parents. In works like the Interstellar I believe true stupidity lies, and that is the one that masks itself in higher knowledge and spiritual presence. I’m afraid that we’ll begin to see more and more films like that, which terrifies me.

Jupiter Ascending is not the smartest film in the world, but it does not hide anything about itself and honesty is always a great thing in art, even if it is soaked in science fiction pulp and undeveloped teenage fantasies.