Jupiter Ascending: Wachowskis Silly, Goofy Sci-Fi Starring Sexy Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis

jupiter_ascending_posterIt’s hard to remember the last time the Wachowski brothers have made a decent film?  The Matrix and its sequels were produced over a decade ago.

Jupiter Ascending, the latest disappointing film from the team is an ill-advised,  much-delayed sci-fi, bears the directors’ distinctive signature without  delivering the expected goods–or much pleasure, thematically, philosophically, or visually.

Like previous films, there’s huge gap between the Wachowski’s level of ambition and level of execution. Silly in plot, goofy in tone, and, surprisingly undistinguished in visual and sound effects, Jupiter Ascending teams two appealing and sexy actors, Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, but then assigns them old-hat characters and buries them in a muddled and uninvolving text that goes on and on.


jupiter_ascending_11Unlike Cloud Atlas, which was original in conception even when it was risible in hair, costumes, and make-up, Jupiter Ascending is a picture that’s at least grounded in the familiar conventions of the sci-fi genre.

The theory of existence, which the Wachowskis have created for their loopy picture is rather senseless, based on the notion that humans are much much smaller pawns in a larger cosmic system, sort of “livestock” to a ruling class, that inexplicably suddenly finds itself in a power struggle after the unexpected demise of a matriarch of the distant past.

The plot can be summed up in one short paragraph: Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a cleaner in Chicago who is identified by as the genetic match of a murdered alien matriarch who used to own the Earth centuries ago. Enter Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a human-wolf warrior whose goal is to protect her from alien assassins and take her to outer space, where the heirs of the Abrasax Dynasty are plotting against her.

jupiter_ascending_7The Wachowskis should be commended for coming up with such a catchy and campy character name like Jupiter Jones (JJ?). Just saying it loud gives some pleasure.

That said, the movie is not a total misfire, and there are at least half a dozen scenes that will put a smile on your face.