ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

This movie gets a lot of hate, and I understand why. But I think the criticism is a little too harsh. It's gorgeous to watch. Just maybe not while you're sober.

1. This movie is an galactically confusing traffic accident. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Well, not completely, anyway.

2. It was made by the Wachowskis, who are most famous for the Matrix movies. [They are no longer known as the Wachowski Brothers, Larry and Andy, because Larry has transitioned to a female and is now Lana, so they are brother and sister].

3. It's a mish-mash of pieces of lots of other movies. You can find ingredients from "The Matrix", "Cinderella", "The Wizard of Oz", "Dune", "The Fifth Element", and "Brazil" all mixed into this absurd stew.

4. The plot is about a girl named Jupiter who desperately wants a telescope. One day, she is swarmed by bees that refuse to sting her. She learns that's because bees don't harm royalty, and that she also owns the Earth. Then she is thrown into a three-way battle between siblings who have divided the universe up among themselves and are fighting for territory.

5. The casting is as much of a mish-mash as the story. Channing Tatum (from the Magic Mike movies, the 21 Jump Street reboot, and his award-winning performance in Foxcatcher) stars with Mila Kunis (who is mostly known for TV's That 70's Show and Family Guy) and Eddie Redmayne (who won the Best Actor Oscar in 2015 for The Theory of Everything and was nominated again in 2016 for The Danish Girl).

6. There is a lot of back-story and side-story that is never explained, because the movie is mostly action. So you need to figure some of the plot out yourself, if you care enough to. This should have been made as two or three movies, not one. I mean, imagine making The Matrix as just one movie. Packing six hours of material into two hours means it's going to be kind of confusing, it's going to have some dumb story connections, and some plot holes the size of galactic vortexes.

7. The special effects are spectacular. The set pieces, design, and cinematography are stunning. And there is a greater diversity of intergalactic characters than I've ever seen in one movie. The movie was supposed to have been released in the summer of 2014 but was delayed in order to complete all the computer effects.

8. There are interesting philosophical topics that are opened, but, like I mentioned above, there isn't enough time to explore them. And the idea of expanding a corporation to the scale of the universe brings rich opportunities for social commentary. But all of that is ignored, so that more things can go fast and go boom.

9. As an actual story, the movie is not impressive. Especially the ending, which is one of the stupidest cinematic conclusions I've ever watched.

But as an epic space opera fantasy adventure, this is the most kick-ass, visually stunning and kinetic film I've seen in years.

What did you think? Was it one of the worst movies of 2015, as some critics claim, or is that pushing things too far? Let us know!


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