Sunday, February 8, 2015

Jupiter Ascending Review: Another Sci-Fi Adventure and Nothing More.

The name Wachowski has been one that has circled the film industry for many years now. Since their hit film, The Matrix, the Wachowski have sporadically released blockbusters; particularly in the sci-fi genre. Unfortunately the duo filmmakers have yet to have another hit like their 1999 film as their releases do not warm up with either moviegoers or film critics. Their latest film, Jupiter Ascending, once again see the Wachowskis add another movie to the sci-fi genre. This blockbuster has already seen its share of set backs as the film was suppose to be released last July. Now with the film out in theaters, is Jupiter Ascending another hit for the Wachowskis or is this another miss for the duo?

Jupiter Ascending follows Jupiter (Mila Kunis): a young woman that is going nowhere in her life. However, though Jupiter believes she isa nobody, that is not the case as intergalactic rulers want her dead. After being saved by Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), Jupiter discovers mysteries behind the human race , her role in all the galaxy and how fate of Earth rest in her hands.

The plot behind Jupiter Ascending is quite conflicting. The story behind this sci-fi film does play with interesting ideas such as the mythos that surrounds the intergalactic conflict. However, as sci-fi stories go, Jupiter Ascending's plot is pretty standard. This kind of story has been done time and time again. Some of the story's elements reflect the plot of The Matrix. It also does not help that the pacing to the film is sporadic. The first act to the movie is rushed as we jump from scene to scene with very little transition. Then the story goes from moving quickly to going at snail's pace as it drags on in the other acts. There are compelling ideas in the story, however Jupiter Ascending misses the mark due to its lack of originality; as well as its pacing.

The same thing can be said for the characters. Granted the protagonists were tolerable and both Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum do the best that they can. However, like the story, these kind of characters have been done before and there was little detail for either character to truly stand out. Sean Bean does an alright job as the supporting character Stinger, but there was not much on his character to commend Bean's performance. Despite their flaws, the main character were decent enough; but then there were the villains. Eddie Redmayne's Balem Abrasax was both two dimensional and underwhelming. Balem's presence was almost forgettable if not for his monotone demeanor; which was puzzling to say the least. Add Balem's cliched siblings and you have three antagonists who were decent; and that's putting it nicely.

Though Jupiter Ascending lacks in both its story and characters, the film's technical side certainly exceeded expectations. The effects and the design to the movie was  breathtaking as factors such as the alien races and the tech showed off the Wachowski's creativity. Along with the tremendous effects was a fantastic score from Michael Giacchino. The film's music captured the concept of a sci-fi opera beautifully; even if the story failed to do the same. The action behind this blockbuster was also enjoyable. While the pacing killed the sequences' momentum, it was obvious that the action scenes were put together well as they blended with the movie's use of effects.

Is Jupiter Ascending flawed? Absolutely! While the Wachowskis try their best to do something new, this sci-fi film falls flat due to its generic story and characters. Yet is Jupiter Ascending the worse sci-fi flick to hit the silver screen? I do not think so. Yes the movie has its problems, but this film does an entertainment value behind it, and factors such as its effects gives the blockbuster some distinction. Jupiter Ascending was not another hit for the sibling filmmakers. However, I can safely say that this sci-fi adventure is not among the Wachowski's worse films.

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