Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Film Review: "Jupiter Ascending" (2015).

"Expand your universe", this is the tagline for Jupiter Ascending is a 2015 space opera written, produced, and directed by the Wachowskis. In a bright and colorful future, the film centres on Jupiter Jones, a young destitute down-on-her-luck caretaker who gets targeted by the ruthless son of a powerful family who lives on a planet in need of a new heir. Caine Wise, a genetically engineered interplanetary warrior informs her that destiny extends beyond Earth, so she travels with him to the planet in order to stop his tyrant reign.

The origin of this ambitious space epic began in 2009, when Warner Bros' former president Jeff Robinov approached The Wachowskis about creating an original intellectual property and franchise. Development began in 2011, with the production and visual effects teams doing pre-production work based on a first draft of the script, while The Wachowskis were shooting the future segments of Cloud Atlas. According to the directors, the first draft of the script was over 600 pages long. The story was partly inspired by Lana's favorite book, The Odyssey"It was making me super-emotional", Lana has said. "The whole concept of these almost spiritual journeys and you’re changed". Another inspiration was The Wizard of Oz which Lana contrasts to The Odyssey. "Dorothy is pretty much the same at the end as she is at the beginning. Whereas Odysseus goes through such an epic shift in his identity". Principal photography commenced at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden on April 2, 2013. Filming also took place in England and Chicago, Illinois. The film was originally slated for release for June 20, 2014. But the studio delayed the film's release and pushed it back almost an entire year (9 months to be exact) to give the production more time in the post-production process. On the date for the wide release of this movie, February 6th, 2015, Jupiter will be at its opposition. Meaning, it will be at its closest point to Earth, as well as have its face fully illuminated by the Sun.

The film stars Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton. Though epically cast, one can not help feel that either the characters lacked development and/or felt rather ridiculous and stupid. Kunis, Bean, Booth and Middleton's characters all felt underdeveloped and were rather unrelatable in the end. Where as for Tatum and Redmayne's characters just felt stupid and ridiculous. Who can believe an intergalactic warrior who is half human and half wolf. And who can this film's main antagonist seriously when for most of the time he whispers his dialogue and who is derivative of science fiction villains such as Emperor Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980), except 10 times epically terrible.

Jupiter Ascending is a terminally underwhelming sci-fi epic that attempts to be original and ambitious, it may keep small children amused, admittedly, but will leave adults bored to tears. On top of that, some of this stuff is just cheesy in the same way it's been cheesy in dozens of cheaper, less cultish films. It's amazing how such a brilliant opening film can devolve into nothing but over-the-top fight scenes and visual effects. In the end, Characterization, plot, and speculations on life and reality take a backseat to the film's action sequences, which seem overly long and decidedly ho-hum.

Simon says Jupiter Ascending receives:

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