Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see The Wachowskis’ latest film Jupiter Ascending in the full Imax experience before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself.
The film tells the story of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a Russian born girl, whose daily routine as a cleaner working alongside her mother, makes her to hate her life. However, Jupiter’s fate suddenly changes when she is rescued by Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter who was sent to protect her from being murdered by the greedy members of one of the most powerful families across the galaxy, after the finding out that she has royal blood and is the legal heir of Planet Earth.
The Wachowskis seem to be within their comfort zone every time they have to create new universes and sci-fi odysseys, pushing the boundaries of imagination with an absolute visual fest that looks even more impressive while sitting in front of an Imax screen. However, it is not all about the visual effects, and that is where one of today’s most famous director-writer siblings fail, as half way through the film the story suddenly becomes messy, bland and cheesy by forcing a love story into the plot between the two lead characters, whose best bet as a romantic couple will be remembered as the film’s funniest scene.
In addition, the villains in the film, Balem, Titus and Kalique Abrasax (Played by Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton respectively) are never fully developed, making viewers to not really feel them as a huge treat nor as a real asset to the story. Thankfully, we have the Sargons race- whose potential is a bit wasted almost throughout the entire film, until they finally came into action, delivering one of the best single combats during the whole movie.
Performance wise, Channing Tatum is the best on screen, showing a full commitment to his character by performing some impressive stunts and carrying the weight of many key scenes of the film (and for the ladies by taking his shirt off for quite a long time). Mila Kunis on the other hand doesn’t really feel like the strong lead character expected for a film like this, and despite her best efforts, the bad script makes her to deliver a couple of funny “Meg Griffin” moments that were absolutely unnecessary for a film like this. Moreover, Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings) plays a correct secondary character that shines in some moments, but later on is left behind for no major reason. However, – SPOILER ALERT – His character, finally does not die!
On the most positive side, the universe created in Jupiter Ascending is beautiful, colourful and full of magical creatures and intergalactic species that will remind many viewers of what Star Wars and Star Trek have previously done (Even a palace featured on the film, looks extremely similar to Queen Amidala’s in Naboo).
The music score by Michael Giacchino deserves a special mention, as it’s simply spectacular. We dare to say that it was the best aspect of the entire film, bringing emotion and tension to key moments, and that feeling of “epicness” to the battles by introducing a choir which creates a similar mix of emotions like in John Williams’ masterpiece “Duel of The Fates” in Star Wars Episode I.
Since the success of the Matrix (1999), fans have been eagerly awaiting another big hit under the direction of the Wachowski siblings, making Jupiter Ascending one of the most anticipated films of the year. However, the brothers are once again far from reproducing the same impact from The Matrix films by delivering an action-packed visual spectacle, which lacks of a clear narrative following a script featuring an intergalactic love story that is full of silly quotes and poorly developed villains. Still, it’s worth to be seen in cinemas, especially in the world’s biggest screen-the IMAX.
Jupiter Ascending In Cinemas 19 February 2015