ByJames Wood, writer at
Unabashed Transformers fan. Man crush on Tom Hardy. Avid fan of Tommy Wiseau's cult disasterpiece The Room.
James Wood

This is the one of the worst films from The Wachowskis, making it clear as day that these directors only make bad films. I didn't enjoy the Matrix trilogy, a franchise that was bad from the off and only got worse. Speed Racer crashed to a halt, Cloud Atlas was an epic mess as was the highly overrated V For Vendetta. Jupiter Ascending is yet another box office flop from these filmmakers, they should give up before anymore studios suffer losses.

Before I start criticising the film, I have to admit that the soundtrack was strong but deserved to be in a better film, Michael Giacchino continues to stir grandeur and awe with his incredible composing. Some of the CGI landscapes were stunning here, mostly establishing shots of the vast expanses of space and other galactic kingdoms. The costume and make-up department did a fine job, and despite some outfits looking silly, the creation and detail of them stood out most, and that is where my three points of out ten come from.

Now to really get into this review. Jupiter Ascending is one of those rare films that turns very talented actors into seemingly sucky ones. Eddie Redmayne is laughably bad, a recent Oscar winner for his fantastic portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking, this is a total juxtaposition in role. He simply cannot play a bad guy, he has this tendency to deliver dialogue in whisper through gritted teeth, and then suddenly scream out of nowhere. He clearly took the wrong job this time around, his performance is Tommy Wiseau levels of bad, and in its own way quite entertaining. Channing Tatum seems terribly bored and uninspired, Kick Gurry tends to slip back and forth between from an American to an Australian accent. The only star to make it out of this train wreck is Mila Kunis, who does her absolute best with the material she's given, she genuinely seems invested.

Characters severely underdeveloped, atrocious dialogue, unfocused action sequences and a lack of direction are the main issues here. You are immediately thrown into situations and conversations without warning, I feel as if the beginning of each scene has been cut out, therefore you're missing out on key details, either that or The Wachowskis have no idea how to stage a simple dialogue driven scene. The alien design looks unfinished, the dialogue between characters is completely foreign in delivery and normality, no human speaks to one another in the way heard here, all I could do was laugh.

The first action sequence sees Tatum rescue Kunis from a hospital bed, leading to a shootout and escape. It's noisy, choppily edited and vapid, you feel no involvement whatsoever. Then there's a skyline battle where Tatum and Kunis attempt to evade alien gunships. Yet again, vapid, messily edited and the sound design seems to drop in and out of quality, explosions sound fine but the swooping and collisions are weak and lack punch, it hit me at this point this isn't going to get any better. I could see what was going on, and I do like shaky cam, but it feels like a good action scene wasted, instead of visceral cuts and speed, bigger, longer takes would've worked better, allowing you to take in all the chaos and scope of this city based scene.

This film was pushed back a year so that 3D and further visual effects could be added. The prolonged wait wasn't worth it, this is a turkey of a film that is too campy to take seriously, let alone even enjoy as a fun sci-fi ride, however, if you do end up watching this, Eddie Redmayne will at least give you the chuckles.


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