Jupiter Ascending is essentially a video game movie that isn't based on a video game... in fact, you kinda wish this was a video game so you could fully explore this world that the Wachowski's have created rather than follow the story that they put in front of you. There is a vastly rich world inside this film, but you only gets hints of it while following around Kunis and Tatum.
Mila Kunis is Jupiter Jones, a maid in Chicago who has the gene pool of a queen who basically owned the galaxy before she dies, and now Kunis is being hunted by the children of this deceased queen and their cronies because if she doesn’t die, then by intergalactic law (or something like that), she gets her inheritance which includes the Earth. Channing Tatum swoops in as Caine, a splice between a human and wolf, who acts as Jupiter’s savior and protector in a way.
Now that we got that convoluted plot out of the way, let’s talk about this film, and the true potential that it had. This film could have been great, and possibly even epic. Unfortunately, The Wachowski’s got lost in this world that they tried to create, threw too many story elements and plotlines into the mix and none if it really stuck. They introduced interesting elements into this world, but had a hard time delving deeper into it, which was truly a problem.
Also, there is just too much exposition, and during these types of scenes, all you care about is getting to the next action scene while occasionally rolling your eyes at the cringe-worthy dialogue. The Wachowski’s created such a vastly rich world, yet decided to tell a complicated, convoluted story that the audience will not connect with or care about. Since this was the first film in a franchise that they were trying to set up, they didn’t need to tell such a complicated tale. They could have told a more focused story, and spread some of this exposition over several movies.
Mila Kunis was fine in the movie based on what she was given. However, it is the relationship between Sean Bean’s character and Tatum’s that really stands out, giving us a hint at their relationship and history through the years. That is the story that you wish would have been told, rather than this jumbled mess.
I will say this about this film… it looks spectacular. The visuals really pop on screen, and the action scenes will captivate you. One of the opening actions sequences is a dogfight between alien spaceships through Chicago while Caine is saving Jupiter, and that sequences is jaw dropping, eye popping, and filmed spectacularly. That is one thing about The Wachowski’s, they know how to make a visually stunning film. The story elements is where they tend to struggle.
Even though the visuals and action should be able to hold your attention, it isn’t enough to save this mess from disappointing you. That is what you will feel after walking out: Disappointment, because The Wachowski’s could have done so much more. I commend them for setting up an original world as rich as this, but they couldn’t seem to do anything with it. I would not mind spending a couple more hours in this world, but I want to fully explore it and be immersed in it, rather than wasting my time with a story like this.